Friday 15 March 2013: Day One - the focus is on the water with school crews competing in kopapa racing. Heats held throughout the day.
Saturday 16 March 2013: Day Two - The Big Day. Gates open from 9am. Starring the feature event - the grand parade of the mighty waka taua (war canoes), the only time each year that you will see these magnificent traditional vessels in action.
Also featuring performances from kapa haka groups - the top groups in the Waikato, and live bands, plus finals of kopapa and waka ama racing throughout the day.
Traditional kai (food) stalls, arts and crafts, amusement rides and side shows, and much more.
History of the Turangawaewae Regatta:
The regatta had its beginnings in March 1896 when the community of Ngaruawahia held an official carnival of the banks of the Waikato and Waipa rivers. Earliest regattas were held at the Point, at the confluence of the two rivers. The Turangawaewae Marae community staged the regatta permanently from 1973, following flooding at the Point.
The purpose of the regatta was to encourage aquatic sports and Maori customary river activities, with particular emphasis on the preservation of ancient customs and traditions.
Ko Ngaruawaahia taku turangawaewae - Ngaruawaahia shall be my footstool. Words uttered by Taawhiao, and ones which have echoed through time symbolising that Ngaruawaahia would always be a place for Waikato Tainui people to find strength, security and a sense of belonging. Ngaruawaahia, where for over 100 years, two rivers and a yearly regatta have linked Maori and Pakeha together. It is a time when the older generation will re-live and remember the past, where the rangatahi learn about the past in an atmosphere of fun and where all will celebrate the river and its culture.