What's on in the Coromandel? 21 June 2018 Today is Winter Solstice - the shortest day and longest night of the year. Winter Solstice was a turning point and was (and still is) celebrated by cultures around the world to help entice the sun back in the dark winter days. Many of our Christmas traditions date back to pre-Christian Pagan rituals as the winter solstice falls around the Christmas and New Year period in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Aotearoa, Matariki is also linked with the winter solstice.Many Matariki Festival's across the country are a blend of traditional Maori celebrations as the Matariki star cluster re-emerges in the pre-dawn sky and the winter solstice. The Matariki stars are known all over the world, although by different names, such as the Pleiades, Subaru, the Seven Sisters. Are you celebrating Matariki or Winter Solstice? We'd love to know. Meanwhile, the arts continue to be the focus of events in the Coromandel this winter season. Bernie Griffen And The Thin Men Sunday 24 June 2018, 2.30pm - Kauaeranga Hall Bernie Griffen has won plenty of followers with his moody, emotive brand of folk-country music, and RNZ National Radio’s Trevor Reekie calls him a “national treasure”. Bernie’s song 29 Diamonds for the miners lost at Pike River might just go down in history as the song that best records the disaster. Book tickets by phoning 021912993 or by emailing Kauaerangahallmusic@gmail.com. You can also pick them up from Lotus Realm, 714 Pollen St, Thames. Sonic Delusion NZ Winter Tour Saturday 30 June, Luke's Kitchen, Kuaotunu Sunday 1 July, Coro Sonic Lab, 23 Colville Road, Coromandel Too funky for folk and too folky for funk - that's Sonic Delusion's Latin-infused, pop-laced "funky electroacoustic folk" For further information see eventfinda. Tim & Mia O'Brien D'JAM Workshop & Gig Sunday 1 July 2018, 10.00am and 7.00pm Coghill Theatre, Coghill Street, Whitianga Tim & Mia are Brisbane musicians who perform regularly in Brisbane and festivals in South East Queensland. With a strong Gypsy Jazz influence, their two guitar plus vocals, swing European-inspired music has a wide appreciation in Australia and we know that Mercury Bay audiences will love it too. For further information see Creative Mercury Bay website. Arts on Tour NZ Presents - SEED Thursday 5 Jul 2018, 7.00pm Whitianga Town Hall Creative Mercury Bay in conjunction with NZ Arts on Tour brings to Whitianga the Comedy Drama: SEED. Seed by Elisabeth Easther was the winner of the 2014 Adam New Zealand Play Award, and was described by the award judges as “highly entertaining, funny and sophisticated”. For further information or to purchase tickets see the Creative Mercury Bay website. Woven Time - Kete Weaving with Bernie Ross Saturday 7 July 4.00pm and Saturday 7 July 6.00pm The Little Gallery, Whangamata Bernie Ross is a Whangamata-based weaver, and has been working in the art of raranga for over seven years. Educated in Maori Art at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Tauranga, Bernie has since been developing her own weaving practice, with a particular focus on dyes and colour. Her signature forms include the Porohita, the cross-hatched wall hanging and the kete. For further information visit the Little Gallery website. Kelvin Cruickshank Wednesday 11 July 7.00pm Thames Civic Centre With the outstanding success and popularity of TV2's award winning series "Sensing Murder", Kelvin has been literally swamped with people wanting to see him. For this reason, he is continuing his series of exclusive shows that will help to reach out and touch more people at once. These shows will simply be Kelvin working with spirit. For ticketing information see eventfinda Friday 13 July - Saturday 14 July 2018 Light - Stories - Wonder For two nights Illume Festival will be lighting up the main street of Coromandel Town. A free family festival with live music, projections, street performers, lights, food, fun and laughter. For further information on how you can become involved see the illume Festival website. Grease Party 14 July 2018 Frankies Sports Bar and Grill, Whitianga The Grease Party will be the first mega event at Frankies. The team there have amazing entertainment planned with door and lucky prizes for best dressed. A delicious supper will make it a perfect night out. Tickets are limited so don’t miss out. Get yours now from Frankies Whangamata Adventure Race Saturday 11 August 2018 Whangamata is an adventure paradise with endless beaches, bush and trails to explore. The Whangamata Adventure Race is a great adventure that is challenging but achievable for all levels of experience. All of the races can be done with no support crew making it easy for you to race. For further informartion and details on how to enter see the Whangamata Events website. Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel Saturday 18 August 2017, 7.00 am - 5.00 pm The Coromandel Peninsula will play host to a round of the 2018 New Zealand Rally Championship on the 18th August, with the organisational team behind Rally New Zealand linking with our Council to base an event from the seaside township of Whitianga. The rally will be based at the Mercury Bay Sports Multi-Sport Park, which will host Rally HQ and the Service Park. Competition will take place over 135 kilometres of special stage on forestry and public roads around the Mercury Bay and Northern Coromandel regions. For further information on NZ Rally see their website here. Whitianga Summer Concert Whitianga Waterways Arena Sunday January 27th 2019 (Auckland Anniversary Weekend) Another sizzling hot summer of music will be hitting our shores in January with Greenstone Entertainment announcing its line-up of four international acts for the annual Summer Concert Tour. Greenstone concert club pre-sale ticketsare available from Thursday 17 May 2018. See the Greenstone Entertainment website for further details. General tickets on sale Monday 28 May 2018 through the Greenstone Entertainment website. Leadfoot Festival 2 and 3 February 2019 The Leadfoot Festival is a unique weekend bringing together a mix of classic cars, vintage motorcycles and motorsport legends. Tickets are offered to the general public with an invitation to Rod and Shelly Millen’s private grounds at Leadfoot Ranch. The 150 acre, ocean-front estate in Hahei on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula features a long driveway that winds through the property designed to be the perfect hill climb. For ticketing information see Leadfoot Festivals website. Gold fever year is underway, marking the 150th anniversary of the Thames Goldfields opening. Check the online calendar of events here to see what's on. Tuia 250 Encounters In 2019, New Zealand will mark 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Europeans during James Cook and the Endeavour's 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand. A national commemoration, Tuia – Encounters 250, will acknowledge this pivotal moment in our nation’s history as well as the exceptional feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier. You can read the latest press release here For information on how you can be involved see Ministry of Culture and Heritage website or Mercury 250 website. Thames Library Book Club is a relaxed and informal book group. Meet other book lovers and share what you’re reading. Here's the ideal place to pick up some tasty new titles. The Book Club is held in the Thames Library's meeting space, the Carnegie Room, on the first Friday of every month. Lego Club Mercury Bay Lego Club is free and happens every Tuesday from 3.30pm - 4.30pm at Mercury Bay Library. Thames Lego Club is free and happens on the first Wednesday of the month from 3.30pm - 4.30pm at Thames Library. For further information please see the Thames Coromandel District Libraries facebook page.