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Hastings celebrates 150 years this weekend

Historic Heretaunga St

Heretaunga St - PHOTO/Hastings District Libraries archive

The countdown is on to a truly auspicious occasion as the community readies to begin commemorating 150 years since the founding of Hastings this weekend.

On July 8, 1873, Francis Hicks auctioned off 198 sections of his land, marking the birth of the new town of Hastings.

On the same date this Saturday, people are invited to join in the beginning of a packed weekend of fun activities and events, designed to make lasting memories of this historic milestone for the wider Heretaunga district.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says there is something for everyone to enjoy over the weekend ranging from special dining deals at local restaurants to a ballroom dance to a family day with live music, storytelling, vintage machinery on show and more.

“It’s been a very tough time for our Heretaunga Hastings residents over the past few months as we deal with the consequences of the cyclone.

“Such events have struck our region before and our forebears built back. This commemoration is not only a celebration of all that has been achieved in the last 150 years, it’s also a reminder that our community has shown great resilience over the years, a trait we call on now as we recover and move forward.”

The free festivities kick off on Saturday, July 8, at 10am with an open day to visit Duart House, one of the region’s most iconic homesteads – built in 1882.

At 1pm, people are invited to an official tree planting and plaque reveal ceremony at Cornwall Park near the playground off Roberts St, when at the same time a capsule of letters written by local school students will be buried.

That evening, from 7pm to 9pm, the 150th Commemoration Ballroom Dance will be held at the Assembly Ballroom at the Municipal Building, with live music by Mandy and Mood Swings.

On Sunday, July 9, a civic service will take place at St Matthew’s Anglican Church, and from 11am to 2pm the whole family can enjoy the Big 150th Family Day Out at Civic Square where there will be live music, dance performances, face painting, giveaways, games, magic with the Great Wardini, storytelling including a live reading of “Pearl in Whirl” from author Catherine Robertson, the Wattie’s family zone, food trucks and more.

Throughout the weekend, from Friday until Sunday selected local restaurants will be offering dining deals and drinks specials for $18.73, and there will be a lightshow projection of historic photographs running in the evenings from 5.30pm to 10.30pm on the exterior walls of Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre.

Full event details are here

4 July 2023

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