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Whangarei's 50th Grand Parade - everything you need to know

On Saturday 1 November, Whangarei City celebrates its 50th birthday this page contains information about the parade and party.
Updated: 28/10/2014 4:26 p.m.

​This weekend is Whangarei City’s 50th birthday party and you are invited! The party starts with a 1960s-themed Grand Parade through the central city on the morning of 1 November. You and every Whangarei resident, business or community group are invited to come along, watch it or be part of things.

“This is a whole-community event celebrating what the community has become over 50 years,” says Mayor Sheryl Mai.

“Governor General Sir Bernard Fergusson officially declared the Borough of Whangarei to have achieved ‘city status’ on 21 May 1964, when the town’s population passed 20,000. Today our city’s population is around 55,000 and we hope a huge proportion of it will come out on Saturday and join in the party.”

“We want to see you all ‘Dress, dance and dazzle like they did in 1964’ so everyone is encouraged to dress up,” she says.

“The parade starts on Railway Road and makes its way down Walton Street to the Town Basin where our 50th anniversary will be celebrated with food, a ‘Whangarei through the decades’ fashion parade, a dance band and prizes for the best 1960s floats, groups and costumes from the crowd. We will also have display boards featuring photos, news clippings and other memorabilia from the 1964 city status celebrations and beyond”

Grand Parade

The 1960s themed Grand Parade will travel the length of Walton St from 10am and has attracted over 70 float registrations and 135 classic and vintage cars.

The parade will be led by three bands - the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, the Whangarei Brass Band and Whangarei Pipe Band.

The hoards of floats, classic and vintage cars and walking groups will assemble in Railway Rd from 7am. The parade will start at 10am sharp, moving down Walton St with road closures in place to allow the parade to pass and hopefully to be completed by 11 am. There will be no parking in Walton St from early in the morning.

Entertainment at the Town Basin party

Once the parade reaches the Town Basin the party continues with the formalities, kapa haka, a covers band playing music from the 1960s to now, and a fashion parade. The fashion show will exhibit key looks from the each decade starting at in the 1960s through to the 2000s After the fashion show there will be local dance crews, more great music and prizes for the best floats and best dressed amongst the crowd. Closer to the destination playground there will be free bouncy castles and face painting for the kids.

The Town Basin party wraps up at around 1.30pm with another performance from the Navy Band.

Public parking

Public parking is available in:
  • Lower Hatea West car park
  • Farmers/Laurie Hall car park
  • Vine Street car park
  • Central City car park – off John Street
  • The old Mitsubishi and Toyota dealerships on cnr Lower Dent Street and Reyburn Street
  • The old Placemakers site on the cnr of Walton Street and Maunu Road

Take the bus it's free

Whangarei’s CityLink public buses will be free of charge on the day (1 November). If we can get as many people as possible arriving in town by bus rather than car, traffic will be reduced and carparks will be freed up on what is shaping up to be a huge day for Whangarei. The normal Saturday bus timetable – which can be viewed on – will run throughout the day, with additional services for the days’ events.

The Rose St bus terminus will be closed and buses will be arriving and departing from a coned off area by the Intercity stop in Lower Bank Street for the duration of the Parade from 10am – 11am.

Temporary bay for Naked Buses

Due to the temporary road closures for the Parade, the southbound 9.15am and northbound 10.25am Naked Bus services will be departing / arriving from a temporary stop in the Town Basin Car Park behind Claphams Clocks. Buses will exit via Reyburn Street

Lost and Found

Any children lost during the parade will be taken to the closest security guard. If not reunited with their family before the parade ends, the child will be escorted to the Town Basin Stage where the MCs will make an announcement. Lost property will be taken back stage at the Town Basin.

Artisans Fair

Adding to the festive spirit, the Artisans’ Fair will be in full swing on the Canopy Bridge. The Artisans’ Fair has become one of Northland’s premium markets and is held weekly throughout the summer.

Getting to the stadium NZ Kiwis v Toa Samoa

To top off the day, the Four Nations rugby league is on at Toll Stadium in the afternoon. The match between the NZ Kiwis and Toa Samoa kicks off at 4pm. This is the first time the Kiwis and Samoa have played here something that in 1964 people would have never expected to happen in Whangarei!

To get fans to the game, an enhanced bus service will run with one additional bus per route leaving the Rose Street terminus between 2.15pm and 2.30pm to arrive at a special drop off zone in front of Toll Stadium well before the start of the game at 4pm.

Once the match has finished, all six buses will depart from the Stadium around 6pm, returning to make another trip if necessary. More details on these bus services can be found at

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters:

  • Lions Club of Whangarei
  • More FM
  • Office Max
  • Oceania Marine
  • mPark
  • Rainbow Relics
  • SuperFoods
  • SarahLee Cobb Photography
  • Malletts
  • Michael Hill Jeweller
  • Rodney Wayne
  • Kiwi Critters
  • SuperMumSuperBaby
  • Spire Chartered Accountants



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