Reaching towards smart, vibrant potential
Over the summer months the city has been absolutely humming. We’ve had more regional largescale events than any time I can remember.
From the Christmas and New Year concerts in The Square, to the NZ Superstock Championships, Nitro Circus, Vodafone Warriors, the Festival of Cultures and the NZ Grand Prix, to the Royal New Zealand Air Force Tattoo, the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games, the Central District Field Days, and the Norwood Gold Cup Festival. And we still have the Winter Festival and Lions Tour to come.
Then there’s been Te Manawa’s hugely successful Frida Kahlo and Dinosaur exhibitions, and the supporting promotions from the local arts community, have added a unique vibrancy.
All these events are great for our city, drawing in crowds from across the region and giving our economy a real shot in the arm. But it’s not just the large-scale events making waves. We’re seeing a raft of smaller events and activities taking place around the city.
The community organised markets in George St, the Central Library, Square Edge, and Hokowhitu are hugely popular. Community driven free events and initiatives such as Reach Roslyn Wacky Water Day, Passport to Play Palmy, and Palmy Rocks are real hits. There’s been plenty of music too, with the Sounds of Summer Sundays in The Esplanade, Lunchtime Concerts in The Square, and gigs galore at The Stomach, Snails, and the Regent Arcade.
Our Central and Community Libraries and our Community Services team are also busy on a daily basis, providing a huge range of community-focused events throughout the city.
Our new Palmy Unleashed and Placemaking teams have been trialing events in The Square including the Food Trucks, free film screenings, and big screen gaming. Palmy Unleashed Coordinator Sam Kershaw is here to make it easy for everyone to get involved and host an event. She can help you with the things like finding a venue and getting council approvals.
Elsewhere in the city, we’ve had open days at The Esplanade and Linklater, Waitoetoe, and Memorial Parks, which have helped us collect public feedback and guide various stages of our development plans.
Around the Esplanade we’ve already seen the addition of outdoor hydro slides and water play attractions at the Lido Aquatic Centre, and we now have three more exciting projects in the pipeline: the Junior Road Safety Park, Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Centre, and the He Ara Kotahi shared pathway and cycle and pedestrian bridge across the Manawatu River. These projects are being achieved prudently through partnerships and have attracted about $9 million in external funding, ensuring our ratepayers get the best bang for their buck.
When we combine all these things they make a huge impact and I really believe we’re starting to reach our potential as a smart and vibrant place to live.
It’s going to be a great year for Palmerston North.
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The Festival of Cultures is just one of many events in the city over the past few months.