The Parnell Festival of Roses will come into flower on 31 October and 1 November, one of more than 60 free events Auckland City Council will provide this summer. Set amongst the colour and vibrancy of newly bloomed roses at the Parnell Rose Gardens, this free family festival will feature live music, fine food, poetry, craft stalls, an art exhibition and much more.
A feature of this year's event will be a performance by legendary New Zealand singer Shona Laing, famous for classics such as '(Glad I'm) Not A Kennedy' and Soviet Snow'. Laing is just one of a long list of musicians to perform throughout the weekend - names like Miho Wada, Otis Mace and Neil Watson will also take to the stage. In addition, strolling performers will surprise crowds over the weekend.
Bring a blanket, drink of choice and some nibbles because new for 2009 is the outdoor cinema. Screening on Saturday evening at sunset, the cinema will showcase Oscar Award-winning La Vie en Rose, based on the life of French singer Edith Piaf. Also new for 2009 and taking place on Saturday afternoon is a fashion show, directed by New Yorker Linda Chandler - the show will profile new season looks from local boutiques.
For those with an eye for art, there will be an art exhibition and a huge number of craft stalls on hand to satisfy your browsing and buying pleasure. There is also a new Kidzone to let the little ones find their own fun.
"This event is a wonderful way to kick-start an ever-growing calendar of free summer events," says Councillor Greg Moyle, Arts, Community and Recreation Committee chairman.
The festival will also go beyond the rose gardens - head to the Parnell Farmers' Market, for breakfast before buying your seasonal produce, baked foods and artisan goods.В Located between Parnell Library and the War Memorial Museum, the Farmers' Market will also feature some great family activities inside the library itself. Also visit the Parnell Road Markets where the street will be decorated with roses and Parnell's shops will have a range of fantastic products on sale, with street stalls, music, and entertainment for children. This is a great opportunity to grab some early Christmas bargains.
A free bus will loop around festival venues every 30 minutes from 10am to 6pm during the weekend.