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'Big weekend of Toitoi Municipal Building re-opening celebrations'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After eight years, the last piece of the Toitoi - Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre puzzle is in place and the entire Municipal Building is officially re-opening this weekend.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday there will be performances, history talks, activities for the kids, dancing, a chance to explore the building and more.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the newly redeveloped building held a special place in the community and that it was very exciting that it could be enjoyed again.

"From dancing on the sprung dance floor in the Assembly Room to concerts, debutante balls, school formals and private occasions this building holds many memories and this weekend will mark the start of new memories being made."

While the buzz had already started with the opening of new businesses and the relocated Hastings i-SITE on the ground floor there was much more to see in the building, Mrs Hazlehurst said.

"The refurbished Assembly Ballroom, the Shakespeare Room and old Mayor’s office, the Tama Turanga Huata Room, which opens out onto the laneway - I encourage everyone to come along this weekend to see these fantastic spaces for themselves and take part in the celebrations."

Accompanying the building renovation have been streetscape enhancements, including new seating, planting, a pocket park on the corner of Heretaunga and Warren St that can act as a performance space, and paving that’s been etched with a braided pattern representing the Mākirikiri awa that used to flow across the area.

The weekend kicks off with a pōhiri to welcome our community home to the Toitoi Municipal Building. This very special ceremony will formally open the space and be your first opportunity of the weekend to see what's inside!

Meet outside the main entrance on Heretaunga St for a 10am start. Free entry, all welcome, no bookings required.

Community Open Day, 12pm - 2.30pm The building will be open so you can explore all the nooks and crannies and see what’s changed. There’ll be a range of pop-up performances from various community events throughout the day to keep you entertained. Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Kids Dance, 2.30pm - 3.30pm

Led by Nerida Cortese and her son Jett, bring the kids in to learn cool dance routines, so they can really shake their tail-feathers. Spot prizes for best dancers and best dressed/costumes. Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Last Dance, First Dance, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Winners of the Last Dance, First Dance competition will join us for the Toitoi Municipal Building’s "first dance". The Hawke’s Bay Jazz Club Big Band will be on stage, playing all the classics for you to dance to. Take your own steps or follow along with dance instructor, Nerida Cortese. Spot prizes for "best dancers" and "best dressed". Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Sunday, August 7 Community Open Day, 10am - 3pm The building will be open all day, so you can explore and imagine all the future events to come in this very special space for Hastings CBD.

Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Michael Fowler: The History of the Municipal Building and Assembly Hall, 11am

Join renowned Hawke’s Bay historian Michael Fowler as he gives an illustrated talk on the history of the Municipal Buildings and Assembly Hall. Runs for one hour. Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

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