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Centuries old Charter Parade marches into Napier Art Deco Festival 2021

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An historic event steeped in tradition will take pride of place at Art Deco Festival Napier 2021 as the region Salutes the Services in this significant anniversary Festival.

The Charter Parade and Military March involving up to 150 soldiers will lead the Vintage Car Parade on Saturday 20th February from 12.30pm. WO1 Paul Mumm of the NZDF explains the Charter Parade is a tradition going back centuries that represents the bond between the military and the people.

"The 5th/7th Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment hold the charter to Napier City. This means they are entrusted with the protection of Napier and are permitted to march through the streets with weapons drawn and colours flying. The parade will be led by the 7th Battalion Band incorporated and the 5th WWCT Battalion Pipes and Drums" says Paul.

Charter parades also acknowledge a city's appreciation for the excellence of the unit's service to the country and is a great way of recognising the support of families, friends, and work colleagues that enable local soldiers to deploy on operations overseas.

Festival Director Greg Howie says, "It’s a privilege to be able to include a Charter Parade and 150 soldiers marching down Emmerson Street will no doubt be an emotive and a truly memorable Art Deco Festival experience".

As this year marks the 90th anniversary of the Hawkes Bay Earthquakes and the 80th Anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy, festival events on Saturday the 20th of February will be dedicated to ‘Saluting the Services’.

"The services invaluable contribution to our region is a huge part of the reason we are now celebrating 34 years of this wonderful festival. It seemed fitting to be able to honour the crucial role the services play during natural disasters and having such a presence this year will enable members of the public to show their thanks and appreciation" says Greg.

Of special importance will also be the significance of the Colours in the Charter Parade. The Colours of a regiment have traditionally been the rallying point on the field of battle. 5/7 RNZIR is the custodian of the colours of both 5th and 7th battalions, which between them

include 43 honours stretching from "New Zealand" through to the end of the Second World War. Both 5th and 7th battalions’ colours will be on parade at the festival.

When the parade reaches the Soundshell, Mayor of Napier City, Her Worship Kirsten Wise will address the parade and conduct the ceremonial inspection before medals and promotions are awarded.

Deco guests can then enjoy an afternoon of free entertainment in and around the Soundshell as the Salute to the Services continues with the 5th WWCT Pipes and Drums and 7th Battalion Band performing from 1pm-2pm. Then do not miss the New Zealand services teams showing their strength in the best of three tug-of-war supreme competition on the Napier foreshore.

The Napier Art Deco Festival runs from 17th- 21st February 2021. To see the full programme of events and ticket purchases visit

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