Gearing up for Te Kuiti’s iconic street festival – ‘The Great NZ Muster.’
29 Mar 2018
TE KUITI’S annual festival - The Great New Zealand Muster - is a celebration of the rural township’s self-proclaimed title - ‘Shearing Capital of New Zealand’.
The Waitomo District Council (WDC) expects the event to attract thousands of people on Saturday, April 7.
The annual ‘Muster’ is an opportunity for the Waitomo district to show off its excellent rural North King Country hospitality and, to celebrate all things ‘Waitomo’ and ‘shearing’.
International visitors plan their holidays around the Muster and the New Zealand Shearing Championships which begin next Thursday, April 5.
For the event, Te Kuiti is transformed into a ‘sheep mecca’, which creates a fantastic atmosphere that keeps event fans coming back for more.
Waitomo District Council’s community development co-ordinator Clowdy Ngatai says: “We are delighted that free children’s entertainment will be provided once again.
“With the basketball challenge, rock climbing, bouncy castle, Scooby Doo multi-play and the extreme air jumper, the kids will have a great time!
“The food is always a huge hit, and on offer this year is steamed pudding, seafood chowder, you can grab a whitebait fritter or sit back and relax with a coffee and slice of cake and watch the performances on stage,” she says.
During the Muster, more than 60 stalls selling anything from quality garments to homemade kai, arts and crafts, handmade leather jewellery, wall hangings, mosaics, and of course, there’s the limited edition Sir Colin Meads t-shirts and mini rugby balls signed by the Meads brothers.
As Te Kuiti is now home to the Sir Colin Meads statue and the Gallagher Meads Brothers Exhibition, the gallery will be open throughout the event week and from 10am until 4pm on Muster day.
Entry to the gallery is $5 per person from April 5-7 with all proceeds benefitting local charities as Sir Colin wished.
From a central stage, MC Ronny Phillips will once again be entertaining the crowds and introducing the numerous local and national acts.
Highlights this year include national top act The Modern Maori Quartet, along with talented solo violinist Aldrich Cecilio, and the very popular and vibrant Te Imperious Dance Company which features local dancers.
The Great NZ Muster runs from 10am-4pm and coincides with the final day of the shearing champs.
RUNNING OF THE SHEEP
The popular and highly anticipated Running of the Sheep begins at 2 pm.
“People can take a punt on how many sheep will run down our main street and be into win,” says Mrs Ngatai.
“This year we also have the very special event of the opening of the Te Kuiti Museum and Gallery by the town’s historical society, which will open its doors for the first time in the former post office and allow the public to view their hard work from 12 noon onward.”
The main street will be closed from 7am to vehicular access for the duration of the event.
The WDC encourages event-goers to park at the nearby skate park or in Taupiri St.
Entry to The Great New Zealand Muster is free.