A bonanza of events recapturing the momentous lure of gold in the Coromandel hills is planned to run throughout the year, starting August 1.
The 150th anniversary of gold being discovered in Thames begins with a dawn blessing, followed by a parade through the town along Pollen Street, between Cochrane Street and Willoughby Street.
The public are invited to dress up in period costume and join the parade, meeting outside Number One Shoes or at the Thames Museum from 12pm.
The official opening will take place at 1pm at the Thames Civic Centre, which will include a karakia, words from the Thames-Coromandel mayor, performance of the winning song from the songwriters' competition, and a performance by school children.
August 1 is also the opening day of two photography exhibitions – one at Bella Street Pumphouse showing photos taken by John Fields, and ‘Growing with Gold' at the Treasury, showing images of Thames from the earliest gold mining days.
Entry to 'Growing with Gold' is by gold coin donation at the meeting room of the Treasury on Queen Street, Thames. This exhibition will continue to be open for public viewing on the days the Treasury is open - Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am until 3pm, for several months.
A full list of upcoming celebratory events can be found here.