Following its opening, Tauranga's new-look waterfront is already in hot demand with more than a dozen events earmarked to take place in the area.
Anne Pankhurst, deputy chairwoman for Downtown Tauranga, said the waterfront's opening celebrations on Sunday were a fantastic way of showcasing what could be done with the area. "Now that everyone has seen what a great little event space that is, there's a real sense of excitement about what could be done in the CBD.
"Now the waterfront has been reclaimed for people, it's become what it should be."
A total of 17 events have already been listed with Tauranga City Council over the next five months and plans are afoot for more waterfront events during the next 18 months.
These include a pre-Christmas Pohutukawa Festival, Carols by Candlelight, a boat expo, a motorcycle display, and a music festival. Katikati resident Richard Wilson, who ate lunch at the waterfront yesterday, said the area would be a huge asset to the city. "It's an obvious drawcard for Tauranga. The Mount has got the natural attractions and doesn't really need advertising but Tauranga needs help and The Strand in my view is the best way to place an emphasis on that. And it's so handy to shops," Mr Wilson said. "I think it's wonderful, really."
Downtown Tauranga manager Kirby Weis said the revamp had provided a new and exciting dimension to the city centre, as well as a place to relax and enjoy some exercise.
"Downtown Tauranga is very excited about the opportunities that the waterfront presents as an events venue and we look forward to some amazing activity taking centre stage in the heart of the city centre," Mr Weis said. "The waterfront opening celebrations has put the waterfront on the map as an events space and, as shown over the weekend, the community is ready to engage with the many more exciting activities and events to come."
Breakthrough Mental Health, acoustic music barbecue, October 10
ASB Breast Cancer Fun Walk, October 24
Kids on Feet, October 28, Boat Expo and Water Festival, October 31 _ November 5
NZ Garden and Artfest, November 5-11
Orange Day Parade for school crossing children, November 9
Pohutakawa Christmas Festival, date not confirmed
The Downtown Christmas, Tauranga Mainstreet, December 1-2
Dutch Christmas Festival with Saint Nicholas, December 8
Possible street party for Downtown Tauranga, December 8
Tin Can Rally, motorcycle display and ride, December 9
Possible Downtown Music Festival, December 15
Carols by Candlelight, date unconfirmed
Tauranga Boutique Seafood festival, January 9
Bridge to Bridge Swim, January 12
The Long Lunch, 400 person outdoor dinning event, January 19
Acceleration on the Water Festival of Speed, GP Hydroplanes Tunnel Hulls Power Boats Racing, February 16-17