Thames Heritage Festival mines golden past 19 February 2018 Dig into the rich history of our district's largest town during the Thames Heritage Festival, from 16-18 March, as the events marking the 150th anniversary of the goldfields opening continue. Tuck into a Miners' Dinner, explore the School of Mines, admire the Petticoat Parade, enjoy a delightful Devonshire Tea and much, much more during this exploration of Thames's storied heritage. For further information and full event listings see the Thames Heritage Festival's website. Thames has a rich history dating back to the first contact between pakeha and the tangata whenua and it has continued through the gold rush, the kauri logging boom and on into the modern era. The Thames goldfields were declared open on 1 August 1867 and in 1874 the settlements of Shortland and Grahamstown were merged to form the township of Thames. See the full list of events marking the anniversary year of the goldfields opening, which runs until the end of July.