Dunedin parade next Thursday

Peter Burling, Emirates Team New Zealand Helmsman holds the America's Cup after defeating Oracle...
Peter Burling, Emirates Team New Zealand Helmsman holds the America's Cup after defeating Oracle Team USA. Photo: Reuters.
Dig out your flags and dust off those red socks. The Auld Mug is coming to town!

Dunedin is to join the America’s Cup party with a street parade next Thursday.

Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton yesterday accepted the city’s invitation to show off the trophy in the South.

The parade will include 25 members of the sailing team and will be held at lunchtime on Thursday, July 13.

It is was expected to follow a similar route to University of Otago graduation parades, starting at the Frederick St end of George St and finishing in the Octagon, council staff indicated.

More details would be confirmed later. Mayor Dave Cull said he was "thrilled" Team New Zealand was bringing the cup back to Dunedin.

"I know the people of Dunedin and surrounding areas will be keen to celebrate with the team."

Back in March, 2000, the America’s Cup was  paraded in Dunedin before an enthusiastic crowd estimated by police at about 30,000.

Dalton  confirmed during yesterday’s  Auckland celebrations there would also be cup parades in Wellington next Tuesday and Christchurch on Wednesday.

"We will make sure we tour the cup to the provincial centres, the heartland of New Zealand where the real people live," he told the huge lunch-hour crowd in Auckland.

A kapa haka group launched the Auckland celebration yesterday  with a performance outside Aotea Square, before vehicles carrying members of the crew started the journey down Queen St.

The crowds roared as each of them passed — the loudest cheers reserved for the last vehicle, where helmsman Peter Burling and  Dalton held the Auld Mug above their heads, much to the delight of fans.

Colourful confetti and red streamers rained down  as the team continued  its journey to the bottom of Queen St and towards Quay St before heading towards the Viaduct Basin, where other formalities were held.

The scenes were reminiscent of those seen in 1995, when Sir Peter Blake was engulfed in a sea of colourful streamers. By the time yesterday’s  parade — which also included a brass band and cheerleaders — reached Quay St, the heavens opened and rain poured down. But nobody really cared.

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