What's on in the Coromandel 21 March 2019 The 2019 Mercury Bay Art Escape was a huge success and it marked a significant change in the creative direction for our District. A much expanded format, including the Tuia 250 street art festival and the Chasing Mercury Art Workshops, resulted in greater public engagement and a richer, more fulfilling creative experience for visitors and locals alike. MBAE spell out in full Chairperson and Kuaotunu photographer Ian Preece said: “We are thrilled with the results of the collective efforts of the trust, artists and the community. Feedback from the public has been overwelmingly positive and we have seen an increase in Open Studio visits not only at weekends but across the week as a direct result.” If you missed the Open Studios event in March or want to visit artists again, you can find all the information you need at the www.mercurybayartescape.com. There continues to be plenty to enjoy across Thames-Coromandel this weekend. Music is coming to Thames with the Thames Country Music Weekend in full action. The event showcases many of the finest talents in the New Zealand country music scene. For the first time, the spectacular Balloons over Waikato festival will be shared with the community of Thames on Friday. Bring the family out for a very special evening, and come and enjoy the fun at the Thames Racecourse. Isaiah B Brunt Trio - Voodoo Blues Tour Thursday 21 March 7pm – 9pm at Lotus Realm, 714 Pollen St, Thames. Fabulous opportunity to catch this award-winning trio from Australia on their Voodoo Blues Tour in little ol' Thames. For tickets and more information visit Eventfinda. Thames Country Music Weekend Friday 22 March – Sunday 24 March at Thames Workingmen's Club, 407 Cochrane Street, Thames. For tickets and more information please visit Eventfinda. As we head into autumn, the days get colder and the ocean starts to move with the swell and storms. ASFF will be bringing the best of surf cinema to our coastal communities and cities. The Whitianga show is on Friday 22 March. There are two seperate sessions you can attend or a full night pass. For tickets and more information click here. Ballons over Thames For the first time ever, the spectacular Balloons over Waikato festival will be shared with the community of Thames. Bring the family out for a very special evening, all thanks to the Thames Business Association, Totally Thames and the TCDC Major Events Fund. Come and enjoy the birthday fun at the Thames Racecourse, 509 Parawai Road. For more information click here. Surf 2 Firth Bush marathon Saturday 23 March in Thames. The Surf 2 Firth Bush Marathon has been described as the most technically challenging marathon in New Zealand and gives runners the opportunity to run from one side of the Coromandel to the other. The half marathon offers a challenging run/walk option and a new 12km option is now available. All events are based out of Thames with competitors bused to the start of the full and half marathon For more information visit their website here. Cathedral Cove Swim Saturday 23 March at Hahei Beach. This is an idyllic swim through a marine reserve to the famous New Zealand landmark of Cathedral Cove, and then back to stunning Hahei beach (4km). Or enjoy the scenic walk there and swim the two kilometres back. 4km - swim anticlockwise, run through archway and swim back 2km scenic walk there and swim 2km back. For more information visit their website here. The annual Repco Beach Hop is a nostalgia festival celebrating the '50s and '60s with a turbo-charged dose of classic cars. It's free to attend and classic car owners pay a fee to include their vehicle in the car shows, parade and cruises. On Thursday the cars and fun head to Whitianga for the Repco Beach Party. See www.beachhop.co.nz/ for more information. Whoopee Review Wednesday 27 March 6:30pm, 11pm at Jack Daniels Party HQ, 19 Port Road, Whangamata. The award-winning Rock n Roll Circus is thrilled to present The Whoopee Revue Burlesque Show at Repco Beach Hop 2019. Featuring some of New Zealand’s leading burlesque entertainers and rising stars, be prepared to laugh, blush and have a wickedly good time. For tickets and more information visit Eventfinda. Classic Comedy Night Thursday 28 March 6:30pm -11pm at Jack Daniels Party HQ, 19 Port Road, Whangamata. You’ll have sore ribs and tears running down your cheeks during this crazy night. Our special guest is Wilson Dixon from Colorado, USA with well-known Kiwi comedians Brendhan Lovegrove and Justine Smith from the TV Show 7 Days. For tickets and more information visit Eventfinda. Shades of Darkness Friday 29 March 8pm – 12am at The Rocker Box, 476 Pollen St, Thames. They are a regular band that is showcased at the Rocker box once a month and will do so until the end of time as these guys rock the roof every time! For more information visit Eventfinda. Kuaotunu Bubble Festival Sunday 31 of March 6pm at the Kuaotunu Reserve, weather permitting. Bring your family and a picnic and share in some Bubblelastic fun. BYO bubble juice and wands. There will be a prize for the best homemade bubble making master piece kindly donated by Fun Zone Whitianga. Elevenses With Lisa Lorrell Thursday 4 April 10am – 12pm at Thames Union Parish, 500A Mackay St, Thames. Having graced the professional stage for over 20 years in the UK, Australia and NZ. Bubbly international award winning songstress Lisa Lorrell will take you on a musical journey filled with nostalgia, fun and laughter. For more information visit Eventfinda. ECHO Walking Festival Saturday 6 April - Sunday 28 April at Various Locations around The Coromandel Penisula. Follow winding tracks through spectacular scenery and amazing views. Explore our backyard and learn about our local history. Hike across hills, discover pools and waterfalls, get a bit of exercise and enjoy our local bush and beach. From an hour's walk to full day tramps, there's something for everyone and every fitness level. For more information click here. A Taste of Matarangi Saturday 6 April at Village Green Reserve Matarangi. A fabulous day of food, wine and music by the beach. A family-friendly event designed for the whole family, with live music, delicious cuisine, fine wine and locally brewed beer. For tickets and more information visit their website. Colville Easter Festival Friday 19 April - Monday 22 April at Colville Hall. Come and enjoy the Easter festival in Colville, fun for all the family. There will be Tibetan Art, Wax Wrap making, Wool Weaving, Needle Felting, Mono Printing, Jungle Animal Drawing and more. For tickets and more information click here for their website. Coromandel Seafood Festival Saturday 4 May from 9am to 4pm on the Coromandel Area School grounds. It’s that time again when we celebrate our seafood culture along with the amazing environment that supports it. Now in its third year the committee have been working hard to keep the event on the calendar. The festival promises to be more streamlined offering continuous demonstrations throughout the day. Other changes have meant coinciding with the Great Kauri Run held by ARC on the top field of the school and the Seafood Fest on the lower field. Entry is just $2 per person with under 14 years free making it affordable for families and proceeds from this go to the Coromandel Area School. For more information visit their website here. This will be the second annual half marathon to be held on Saturday 25 May in the beautiful Mercury Bay. The course is a fast and flat scenic loop of Whitianga and the Mercury Bay on both pathways and sealed roads. All races start and finish at the Buffalo Beach Reserve. For more information visit their website. The Coromandel Art and Craft Fair Saturday 13 July at the Whitianga Town Hall. Mercury Bay Art Escape’s annual Fair showcases quality handmade Arts and Crafts produced in The Coromandel. The Fair is for one day only and is an excellent opportunity to meet talented and enthusiastic Coromandel artisans and artists. For more information click here. 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. For information on how you can be involved see Ministry of Culture and Heritage website or Mercury 250 website. Farmers Markets Pohutukawa Coast Artisan Market - This market is on the last Friday of every month at the Waiomu Reserve Thames. Except the market in March will not be on the last Friday it will be held on 15 March. Click here for more information. Thames Market - Every Saturday 8am - 12noon - Pollen Street, Grahamstown. Head down to the Thames Market this weekend. Don't forget to bring your own bag, basket or box to the Thames Market, plastic carry bags are no longer allowed. Thames Crafters Market - Held the second Saturday of each month. 8am – 2pm, Welsey Hall Pahau St Thames, behind Saint James Church opposite the GBD. Contact Dana on 0272220700 or Gaylene on 0211424543 Tairua Market - The first Saturday of every month, you will find a collection of stalls and produce right by the harbour next to the one-lane bridge on the Tairua Main Road from 9am -1pm. Coromandel Town Homegrown Community Market - Every Friday morning on Wharf Road beside the BNZ bank you will find an array of local, homegrown produce and crafts for sale. Whangamata Sunday Market - Held in the heart of the Whangamata township in the Council carpark on Port Rd from 9am - 1pm, selling goods from arts and crafts to produce. See here for further details. Coroglen market - Every Sunday 9am-1pm, Coroglen Hall. Whitianga Art Craft and Farmers Market - Every Saturday at Soldiers Memorial Park from 8am.For more information on the Art Market contact Marle Ward on 07 866 0204 or 021 0241 9368 or visit their Facebook here.