A parade of boats for Whau Flotilla event
Boats, banners and performances - the Whau River is getting ready to host a carnival on the water.
Next month a number of water crafts will come together for a one hour trip along the river for the Whau Flotilla event, organiser Kathy Waghorn said.
The annual parade is in its fifth year and will be held on March 4.
Also attending the event is a special visitor from the New Zealand Maritime Museum, Waghorn said.
SS Puke, a 145-year-old steam boat from the museum’s heritage fleet, will lead the procession manned by a crew of eight people.
The flotilla includes a number of rafts, kayaks, traditional wooden rowing boats and standup paddle boards.
But the flotilla is going to be more than just a ride in a vessel.
‘‘There will be little surprises along the way. I won’t say much more than that, you have to come along to find out,’’ said Waghorn.
The 2016 event had 80 vessels and Waghorn said there is a chance there may be more this year.
‘‘People really enjoy being part of the flotilla. We get boats of all types. There are heritage boats, old-fashioned ones and even speed boats.’’
The event is ‘‘kid-friendly’’ and there are several parents who bring their toddlers, Waghorn said.
But the Whau Flotilla not just for the young.
‘‘There are plenty of seniors who come along and have fun too.’’
Waghorn said those interested in participating do not need to own a boat.
‘‘If you want to join in we will try and find some spare room to fit you in.’’
Karekare Surf Life Savers will be present to keep an eye on water safety.
The event is an initiative of Hoopla, an independent collective of Avondale and New Lynn residents committed to helping the community create a connection with the Whau River.
Waghorn said the idea is to have one day a year for people to notice the river.
The Whau flows through Avondale, New Lynn, Green Bay, Blockhouse Bay and Kelston. The event is going to take place on March 4 and will start from Archibald Park in Kelston. Boat Registration begins at 10:30am, followed by a safety briefing at midday. The event begins at 12:30pm.
The Whau Flotilla had 80 vessels in 2016.