Town ready to celebrate as Paepae turns 10

Paepae in the Park is celebrating a decade of peace, love and reggae in Patea this Waitangi Day.

Held in the shadow of the Aotea Memorial waka in Memorial Park, the free eight-hour music festival has gone from strength to strength during its first 10 years.

It offers a twist on traditional celebrations by bringing people together to share in music as well as the country's history.

Paepae organising committee treasurer Elaine Powell said everyone was welcome to join them in marking their birthday and the 173rd anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi. "We are expecting the same numbers as last year if not a few more for the 10-year celebration."

Schools have created banners, 1000 cupcakes are ready to be dished out and Nga Whetu O Patea will be broadcasting their radio show from the event.

The event has had a near-perfect run - the only blemish was the Patea freezing works fire in 2008, which unceremoniously shut the concert down.

"We have had amazing weather each year and this year won't be any different," she said.

Sons of Zion beat the bottleneck of bands to headline this year and will join the Patea Maori Club, MaRoPu and Natural Remedy on stage from about 9am.

Fellow committee member Christine Kershaw said this year they had invited the "best of the best" local bands to return.

"It's the only time of the year Patea bursts at the seams."

A liquor and smoking ban will be in place in the block surrounding the venue.

In North Taranaki, people can head to Puke Ariki Landing for a family picnic and performances by Soulovus and Te Kohikohinga Kohatu from 11am.

Taranaki Daily News