Workshops full swing ahead of parade and street party

Published on June 16, 2021

Chrysalis workshop 1

Sarjeant Gallery education officer, Sietske Jansma, with workshop participant Beth Taylor

The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui was a hive of activity last week with kids and adults making illuminated costumes and decorations for this year’s Lights on Bikes parade.

Sietske Jansma, the Sarjeant Gallery’s education officer, says she’s enjoying seeing the decorations people are making to adorn their wheels and themselves.

“Our workshop participants have had a great time making colourful, furry, animal ears that light up as well as unique symbols for glowing bike shields.”

There are still two more community workshops to go this weekend on Saturday, 19 and Sunday, 20 June – making large tissue paper flowers to be installed along the parade route and triangular lanterns to attach to a bike, scooter or trike.

Three school groups are involved in workshops as well.

“Last week I made papier mache chrysalises with Whanganui homeschoolers – with lots of hilarity and popping balloons – and in the next couple of weeks I’ll be making large fish with a class from St John’s Hill School and also glow-in-the-dark butterflies and moths with students from Te Kura o Kokohuia,” Sietske Jansma says.

Shanti Sibbing, who is organising the combined Lights on Bikes and Drews Street Party event says, “Everyone will remember the magical photos of people’s costumes and decorations from 2019’s Lights on Bikes parade.

“Start planning your light-up outfit now – for us a big part of the fun is seeing the costumes and decorations people turn up in and we are intrigued to see what everyone will create this year!”

The parade – scheduled for Friday, 25 June – will be combined with a street party to celebrate the new streetscape being installed in Drews Avenue.

Food trucks will be in Drews Avenue for the event from 5.30pm, including Kirk’s wood-fired pizza, La Bella Italian street food, Crafted & Co burgers and donuts and The Village Snob coffee. There will be a sausage sizzle and Porridge Watson will be open as usual.

People are asked to assemble for the parade at 6.00pm at the corner of Drews Avenue and Rutland Street, and the parade will leave around 6.30pm.

This year’s parade will follow a shorter route, heading down Drews Avenue to the river, along the river boardwalk and Taupo Quay to Bates Street then looping back through Pākaitore Moutoa Gardens and Rutland Street to Drews Avenue.

Live music will kick off in Drews Avenue around 7.00pm.

The Drews Avenue streetscape has been put in place by the council’s Town Centre Regeneration team, with funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for 90 percent of the project.