The Tauranga Waterfront Festival – the show must go on (whatever the weather)


The cold wet weather that was around for the weekend of the 20th September 2014 saw the annual Tauranga City Council Waterfront Festival being postponed to the Sunday.

The weather had improved but you couldn’t say it was fine or warm or springlike – well then again maybe this is spring weather. Why am I banging on about the weather – well it makes the attendance of the community, particularly those with very little children a clear indicator of the merit of this Festival and it’s a testament to the fortitude of lightly clad performers on the sound stage.

I’d photocopied the usual pile of ARTbop information flyers and scarfed and raincoated was handing these out with the Creative Tauranga Hairy Maclary brochure. When will those stars of literature show up in their permanent home!

Loved the Mahon Enterprises dragon train ride and those little flying chairs on chains. (Years ago I made myself sick and dizzy going on them twice in short succession at the Auckland Easter Show. In those days the Easter Show was “a major event” on the Auckland calendar.)

Round the back of the Tauranga carnival rides were two huge truck tractors; the now equivalent of the painted gypsy wagon. Yes, the iPad reading Mahon person tells me the rides fold up and pack down with speed. I wander past lots of yummy food trucks on the waterfront grass. The weather must have put off the market stalls – only one or two and not the usual fabulous Little Big Market stuff.

After I’d put on another layer – hoodie, gloves and boots – it was back down to the sound stage to listen to the music and wait for my favourite – the fireworks!! And who should show up in the middle of three cabaret attired singers – Ms Carly Howes – Tauranga Musical Theatre star. Black silk skirted and silver topped Carly and two other singers are the Rhythmic Chicks. That says it all. They are cross between the Andrew Sisters, Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Chicks of the 60’s. Once on stage they never stopped. All taking the solo lead. They were a great act for the early evening. How they stood the cold I don’t know – real performers. An additional treat was unexpectedly standing with Carly’s parents (and dog) and her partner who has forwarded through photos of the Rhythmic Chicks for ARTbop.

It was clear the act which followed had not anticipated being on stage for such a long time – they stayed until the fireworks started. Slow jam; Something Like That performed and performed and performed. Congratulations to this trio who had the repertoire and stamina (and resistance to the increasing cold and wind) to perform until the fireworks got sorted.

The pilot-boat literally glided slowly out and in again from the fireworks barge as the lights of the houses around the bay became apparent. I adore fireworks and I suppress all thoughts of the social good that most probably could be done spending the money on a low decile Tauranga primary school. I make sure I can see the sky and like last year I ooh and aah at these benign and decorative flashes of light and colour. And I’ll be there next year!

Carly and the Rhythmic Chicks are part of Total Entertainment Solutions Mobile 027 2342 482

Rosemary Balu


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