Large crowds expected

Thousands of Otago residents are expected to rise early for dawn services tomorrow, despite a wet forecast.

The MetService predicts scattered rain throughout Otago will ease from noon, when northerlies will turn southwest.

Temperatures are expected to reach highs between 13degC in Clutha and 16degC in Dunedin and Central Otago.

Last year's Anzac Day dawn service in Dunedin attracted about 8500 people to Queens Gardens and convener Lox Kellas anticipates more will attend tomorrow's 6.30am service. This year marks the start of the 100th anniversary of World War 1.

''It's hard to say how many will turn up, being school holidays as well, but there's potential for more people to turn up given the fact that it's 100 years in September since the outbreak of the war,'' Mr Kellas said.

Guest speaker Wing Commander Aaron Young, of Wellington, will make the Anzac address at the Dunedin Cenotaph, following lessons by Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith and Otago Polytechnic Students' Association president Rebecca Swindells.

The Dunedin RSA Choir and Kaikorai Metropolitan Brass Band will perform the hymn Gwahoddiad before a wreath-laying ceremony. Gun salutes will be part of the service. Many services will follow in and around Dunedin and there will be more than 20 other services throughout Otago.

For the first time, a dawn service will be held at Millers Flat, following the success of last year's inaugural dawn service in Roxburgh.

A 7am parade from the Millers Flat War Memorial will feature the Roxburgh Pioneer Generation Brass Band and guests from the Roxburgh Area and Millers Flat schools, followed by a 9am Roxburgh service.

A 10.45am Alexandra parade will precede a wreath-laying ceremony and service at the town's war memorial.

The Lake Hawea dawn service, from 7am, will be held at the reconstructed memorial area on the peninsula above the dam and include an opening song by Hawea Flat School pupils, as well as a roll call of Hawea residents who have died at war.

After the 9.30am Wanaka remembrance service in the Lake Wanaka Centre, a parade will go to the Chalmers St memorial for wreath-laying.

Queenstown's second annual dawn service will start at 6.45am at the Memorial Gates on Marine Parade. From there, a parade will begin at 9.15am and go to the Queenstown Memorial Centre for a 10am service.

About 600 people are expected to attend the first of North Otago's commemorations in Oamaru, where a 6.30am service will be held at the WW1 memorial.

In the Clutha district, 13 Anzac services will be held, with Balclutha's starting at 7.30am.

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