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CAPS Hauraki chair Michele Fill, left, with staff Deanne Cronin and Nelson Joseph. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Children’s Day a thing to ‘look forward to’

A free event that celebrates children and families will be “something to look forward to” after two years of restrictions and a summer of rain.
Held annually on the first Sunday in March, the nationwide Children’s Day has been put on hold in Thames since 2021.
Its return to the town comes with “perfect timing”, CAPS Hauraki chairperson Michele Fill said,
with whanau in need of a pick-me-up after the spate of severe weather events that left property damaged and people stranded.
“It is perfect timing because families are really stressed, and even if their house wasn’t damaged, a lot of them would’ve been prevented from getting to work or to shops or to schools.
“We’re talking about stress on top of stress on top of stress,” Michele told The Profile.

“We’ve had three years of Covid, it’s still going on, and families are also coping with loss of income, and this little community has been under stress for a long time now.”
This year, Thames Children’s Day organisers have “gone back to basics” and have arranged for classic Kiwi games such as an egg and spoon race, tug-of-war, and a three-legged race. There will also be crafts, poi-making, harakeke [flax] weaving, face painting, and live music.
The event is completely free.
“We need to have a time to celebrate, and it’s so important for families to be able to come and not pay for anything,” Michele said. “Everything is free and they can have a really good day with food provided and lots of entertainment.”
The social service agency on Queen St has put on a Children’s Day celebration for “a long time” and each year continues to get bigger, Michele said.
“People hang out for it, they look forward to it… It feels exciting to be having something to celebrate after what has been such a difficult time and a difficult few years.”
The Thames Small Gauge Railway will be in operation, while CAPS staff and Thames Rotary Club members will be on hand making kai.
DETAILS: Children’s Day will be held on Sunday, March 5 from 10am to 2pm at Victoria Park in Thames. This is a completely free event. All families welcome. For any updates regarding the weather, follow CAPS Hauraki [Safe kids, thriving families] on Facebook.