Monday, 18 January 2021


Coro 200 Illume Festival taking shape

Coromandel Town is stepping up efforts to lure more domestic visitors as preparations take shape for the Coro 200 Illume Festival in September.

Illume has become a flagship event for the community and this year features an expanded programme to mark 200 years since the arrival of the Royal Navy ship, HMS Coromandel, after which the town and the Coromandel Peninsula are named. The event had been planned for Queen’s Birthday Weekend, but uncertainty around what COVID-19 restrictions would be in place at that time forced the postponement to Friday 25 and Saturday, 26 September, the first weekend of the spring school holidays.

Coromandel-Colville Community Board Chairman, Peter Pritchard, said Illume had already successfully put Coromandel Town on the map as an events destination and encouraged local businesses to get involved by both participating in and promoting the festival. Highlights include a street parade, themed ball and fireworks display. “We are encouraging local businesses to get behind this event and participate in the parade on Saturday night,” Mr Pritchard said. “You can decorate anything from floats, cars, trailers, push prams or just yourself.”

Laurna White, Thames-Coromandel District Council’s Communications and Economic Development Group Manager, said local community groups and clubs would also have the opportunity to fundraise over the weekend including at the Powerco night markets on both Friday and Saturday evenings.

Friday will also see a DJ performing at the Barry Brickell Memorial Stage while the Disney Kids Zone will take place at Hauraki House. A dedication for HMS Coromandel will be held at 11:00am on Saturday at the Whangarahi Reserve, followed by a commemorative planting at the Albert Street Reserve. Saturday night’s themed ball will take place at the Coromandel Citizens Hall. Tickets are $30 each and can be bought at the Coromandel Information Centre. There will also be live music at the Samuel James Reserve accompanied by the Richardsons Real Estate fireworks display.

“We are encouraging local businesses to light up their shop facades and window displays,” Mr Pritchard said. “Get creative, this is your chance to show people how amazing our town is. Inspire your menu to create a ‘Coro 200 special’ for customers to taste over the weekend.”

The Coromandel-Colville Community Board approved the week before last a grant of up to $2,000 from its discretionary fund to help promote Coromandel Town as a destination for domestic tourism. The grant will help fund a workshop to assist local businesses developing a campaign around the story of Coromandel Town and promote it nationally. “Covid-19 and New Zealand’s closed borders have ramped up competition for the domestic tourism market,” Mr Pritchard said. “In order to compete with areas like Queenstown, Rotorua, Kaikoura and other places, our business community must act with some urgency to market Coromandel Town to the country to bring in visitors whose spending will support our local economy. This workshop will support and enhance the work already planned by Destination Coromandel in the coming months.”

The workshop will be facilitated by Tomahawk NZ, an advertising and marketing agency that specialises in travel and tourism. Te Waka, the Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency, will contribute half of the total $6,000 cost with the local business community also contributing $1,000. A date has yet to be confirmed but spaces can be booked by contacting Pamela Grealey on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pictured: Previous Illume Festival picture in Coromandel Town.


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