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Cambridge Autumn Festival brings together communities and families



Performances around Victoria Street for the Carnival (Photo Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Cambridge, March 26, 2023

Cambridge Autumn Festival 2023 saw a great line-up of performers, concerts, workshops, and exhibitions. There are several events planned from March 24, 2023, to April 2, 2023, which are suited for all age groups and interests. The Autumn festival is a vibrant, fun, fabulous celebration of the arts with live shows, music, dance, exhibitions, workshops and free family events at different venues around Cambridge.

From a Science Workshop teaching the children all about bubbles to an introductory workshop on becoming a self-published Author, a Clay workshop for Children and another one for adults, a photo exhibition and an art, pottery, ceramic and painting exhibition by the Cambridge Community Arts Council, people have been impressed by how such diverse events have been brought together for the community to enjoy.

One of the unique events was ‘Kai at the Marae,’ which allowed the members of the community to enjoy a meal that represents our environment and some of the history of Māori cuisine in our community.

The main highlight of the Autumn Festival is the Main Street Carnival and Autumn Art Market which took place yesterday. The town of Cambridge came alive on this busy community day when several people came out with their families to enjoy the vibe as musicians, dancers and entertainers performed in various parts of Victoria Street. The footpaths were brimming with original art, photography, jewellery, pottery, sculpture, woodwork and much more.

Cambridge Autumn Festival brings flavours of fun to the Waikato region (Photo Supplied)

Children were treated like royalty with complimentary face painting, many stilt walkers making the streets fun, and a complementary handmade candy kiosk that had kids lining up and mesmerised with the shapes that were formed from melted candy syrup.

With dress-ups, shopping and some good food, the day out in the sun was well spent by the people of Waikato.

More fun is still in store with a Teddy bear Picnic, hosted by the Cambridge Model Engineering Society (Big Trains) and Model Railway (Little Trains.) Bears and their owners ride the train for free while adults can ride with a Gold Coin donation towards the Community House.

Art enthusiasts can experience an extended two-day workshop on April 1 and April 2, 2023, by renowned New Zealand abstract artist Richard Adams for painters of all skill levels to learn grand gestures with an Abstract Painting on Location.

Another event is an art event, ‘Paint It Jazz’ scheduled for March 31, 2023, which Integrates live painting and live music. This unique event features artists Richard Adams and Neal Palmer painting on stage as the Nairobi Trio play freeform jazz. The completed art will be auctioned in support of Hospice Waikato.

2023 Maadi Cup parade on Victoria Street, Cambridge (Photo Supplied)

Maadi Cup Regatta Parade

Today marks the start of the 2023 Maadi Regatta, with more than 2000 high school rowers taking to the main street on Sunday afternoon (March 26, 2023) to fly their school flag with pride at the annual Aon Maadi Regatta parade. A total of 2267 rowers from 113 schools across the country have descended upon the mighty Waikato, making it the second biggest New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing regatta on record, and a sense of excitement can be felt in all corners of the town of Cambridge.

Combined with the Main Street Carnival, the turnout for the parade was impressive and everyone cheered for these young athletes. There is no doubt that the Maadi Regatta is the biggest rowing regatta on New Zealand soil. It is known to be the biggest secondary sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere. And while it is large in number, it also hits big in the hearts of both past and present high school rowers.

School rowing in New Zealand is currently flooded with talent and Jackie Kiddle, New Zealand and World Champion lightweight rower encouraged all the rowers competing this year with her presence at the regatta parade and said, “Enjoy racing, cheer on your friends and teammates, eat lots of lasagne, drink more water than you think is needed, and use your sunscreen. I challenge you to make a new friend, be the best you can be on and off the water and have fun, because, at the end of the day, the Aon Maadi Regatta will provide you with some of the best memories from your time at high school.”

Tama Potaka, a Member of parliament from Hamilton West attended the parade and took to Social Media to share his message with the young participants. He said, “ Maadi Cup is a great institution celebrating well-being with thousands of young people around the country. I wish them all the best.”

Scott Simpson, Coromandel Member of Parliament was also present at the parade and said, “They are all wonderful young kiwis, learning great life skills and enjoying themselves. I wish this great Kiwi institution the very best of luck.”

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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