Capital turns on charm for sevens parade

The English team enjoying themselves.
1 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
The English team enjoying themselves.
The Canadian team gets into the party atmosphere.
2 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
The Canadian team gets into the party atmosphere.
Crowds of people line the streets to see the parade.
3 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
Crowds of people line the streets to see the parade.
Samoan dancers celebrate.
4 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
Samoan dancers celebrate.
The Portuguese team looking orderly and ready for action.
5 of 16MICHELLE DUFF/Fairfax NZ
The Portuguese team looking orderly and ready for action.
DJ Forbes gives an interview during the parade.
6 of 16MICHELLE DUFF/Fairfax NZ
DJ Forbes gives an interview during the parade.
A dancer joins the party.
7 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
A dancer joins the party.
Can can dancers add some flourish to proceedings.
8 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
Can can dancers add some flourish to proceedings.
And here comes the brass.
9 of 16CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
And here comes the brass.
Dancers bring some Fijian flavour to proceedings ... along with international man of mystery, Austin Powers
10 of 16MICHELLE DUFF
Dancers bring some Fijian flavour to proceedings ... along with international man of mystery, Austin Powers
Perennial crowd favourites Kenya hit town during the parade.
11 of 16MICHELLE DUFF
Perennial crowd favourites Kenya hit town during the parade.
City Fitness superheroes
12 of 16MICHELLE DUFF
City Fitness superheroes
The Canadian team soaks up the atmosphere in Wellington.
13 of 16MICHELLE DUFF
The Canadian team soaks up the atmosphere in Wellington.
Samoan dancers pose for a photo.
14 of 16MICHELLE DUFF/Fairfax NZ
Samoan dancers pose for a photo.
The New Zealand sevens team relaxes ahead of the parade.
15 of 16MICHELLE DUFF/Fairfax NZ
The New Zealand sevens team relaxes ahead of the parade.
Batucada dancers take to Lambton Quay.
16 of 16CAMERON BURNELL
Batucada dancers take to Lambton Quay.

Thousands of Wellingtonians packed the streets of the coty at lunchtime for the annual Wellington Sevens parade. The procession snaked around from Lambton Quay, down Willis St and to Civic Square for the official welcome from the mayor.

Most cheers, of course, were for the local lads. The New Zealand team is hoping for a tournament win to get them ahead of rivals South Africa in the IRB world standings.

But fans of all teams crowded on the curb or took to balconies and window sills to catch a glimpse. One family had what were possibly Argentina's youngest fans, two-year-old Max and seven-month-old Federico McCallum.

FANS AND FINERY: Teams and fans take to the streets for last year's Wellington Sevens parade.
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ
FANS AND FINERY: Teams and fans take to the streets for last year's Wellington Sevens parade.

Dad Tom McCallum is English and his wife Veronica is Argentinian, so picking a team for their sons was a difficult choice, Mr McCallum said.

The kids will have to wait a few years before they'll get to see the Sevens live, though. "We've been in the past, but not while they're little."

New Zealand team coach Gordon Tietjens said his players were looking forward to heading out on to their home turf at Westpac Stadium on Friday. The parade was always an "amazing" way to kick off the event.

"It seems to get bigger every year."

The Dominion Post