Plenty to en­ter­tain us in the year ahead


Wel­come to Over­ture for the first time this year.

I’m hop­ing that, by the time you read this, the weather will have im­proved, the wind ban­ished to the Antarc­tic and we can all en­joy the fi­nal month of a for­get­table sum­mer.

How­ever, for as long as I can re­mem­ber, au­tumn has never let us down.

There are plenty of out­door events to en­joy in Fe­bru­ary. In par­tic­u­lar Es­planade Open Day on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 19, is a land­mark event in the city and al­lows us to ap­pre­ci­ate one of the beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral at­trac­tions we have.

Es­planade Open Day, from 10am to 4pm, of­fers an in­cred­i­ble mix of live en­ter­tain­ment, food, cul­ture and fam­ily fun. It pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for the thou­sands of peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence the food, browse the stalls and al­low youngsters to run off their en­ergy on the at­trac­tions, the bouncy cas­tles, the horse rides, try face paint­ing and ride on the minia­ture rail­way.

The Open Day show­cases a va­ri­ety of tal­ented com­mu­nity groups and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions as well pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal and na­tional per­form­ers, band and dance groups to per­form.

Look for the New Zealand Army’s trucks, tanks and gal­lons of cam­ou­flage paint.

A week ear­lier we can ex­pe­ri­ence one of the high­lights of the sport­ing sea­son.

The New Zealand Grand Prix is held at Man­feild on Fe­bru­ary 11-12. New Zealand’s most prized mo­tor­sport tro­phy is con­tested as part of the Cas­trol Toy­ota Rac­ing Se­ries.

Fol­low­ing the death of one of New Zealand’s rac­ing greats, Man­feild is known as Cir­cuit Chris Amon. Chris, whose home was Bulls, al­ways at­tended the New Zealand Grand Prix. His pass­ing will be com­mem­o­rated at the Grand Prix this year.

In ad­di­tion to the fea­ture race, there’s the Toy­ota 86 Cham­pi­onship, the For­mula 1600 and the BNT NZ Tour­ing Cars events.

Wai­tangi Day is spe­cial in the lives of New Zealan­ders and the event lo­cally will be hosted by Te Manawa.

To hon­our our spe­cial day, the whole of the Te Manawa precinct from The Globe to the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre will come alive with a rich cross-cul­tural cel­e­bra­tion of mu­sic, ac­tiv­i­ties and film.

There’ll be magic shows, stalls to shop at and our ev­er­pop­u­lar ‘‘par­tic­i­pa­tion sta­tions.’’ It’s a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the whole com­mu­nity to come to­gether.

It might be early in the year but Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre, the Re­gent on Broad­way and Palmer­ston North Boys’ High and Girls’ High are in se­ri­ous re­hearsal for mu­si­cal theatre events in March and April. We will look for­ward to Blood

Broth­ers, A Cho­rus Line and Footloose re­spec­tively. We can also look back at the ma­jor pro­duc­tions from 2016. The Globe Awards on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 24, are a glit­ter­ing event that pays ho­mage to the best of the best dur­ing last year. Twenty-six theatre per­for­mances were judged by a panel of ad­ju­di­ca­tors, con­vened by Sheri­dan Hickey, and their se­lec­tion of the top pro­duc­tions and in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances will be an­nounced at the awards on Fe­bru­ary 24.

Some out­stand­ing pro­duc­tions were seen dur­ing 2016 and the awards cer­e­mony prom­ises cel­e­bra­tion, en­ter­tain­ment, and even some sur­prises.

It’s a night to strut the red car­pet and cel­e­brate ev­ery­thing that’s good and vi­brant about theatre in the Manawatu re­gion.

Ris­ing young gun Mar­cus Arm­strong from Christchurch will race at Man­feild next month.

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