Waitangi Day! There’s a day off work but much more importantly, there are also lots of opportunities for our communities to hang out together.
There are festivals and public celebrations right across the Head of the Fish!
Today we’re celebrating our constitutional biculturalism and our demographic multiculturalism – with bands, picnics, dancers, public art demos, skateboarding competitions, plant giveaways, multimedia, balloons, kapa haka, duck racing, kid races, musicians, debates, hot dog stands and spiral potatoes…
Ultimately, it’s loads of local people having a good time, wandering around, enjoying the same things, separately but together.
Low-stakes micro-interactions – the smile exchanged, the little chat about the performer or the kid or the dog, the bumping into neighbours you never normally see…
In an age where we’ve forgotten how to be good neighbours, Waitangi Day festivals – like any free, public, celebratory gathering – are just great for us as people.
And let’s be honest, it’s always good to know a little more about the place we love and live. Especially when it comes as music, dance, face painting and art – and cartoons!
To ponder over your long weekend: a few cool perspectives on public gatherings and “bumping-into” spaces…
- The power of food trucks to make a “scary” space welcoming for all – Megan McIver
- If you were in charge of organising a great local celebration for the public in your neighbourhood, where would you have it? 60 great public spaces from around the world – does your ‘hood have something this good?
- Festivals and celebrations – and regular weekend markets – need public spaces like town squares. And people who want to eat their lunch somewhere! Project for Public Spaces on Launching a New Tradition of Great Public Squares
Whether or not Waitangi Day itself means much to you, head along to your local festival – because it’s our people, your people.
It’s us, together.
As the talented Pencilsword of Toby Morris puts it: get amongst 10,000 people you love.
- Waitangi Day crowd on grass – Stuff.co.nz
- Banner image – Street performers at Pride Festival, Minneapolis – by Biodork
- Waitangi Day festivalgoers listening to performer – Stuff.co.nz