Wellington Rugby Sevens waterfront parade #1

All aboard the Friday walking bus!

2012 Rugby Sevens day 1 - photo by Alison GreenAfter the success of our “Pied Piper” parades along the waterfront during the Rugby World Cup, the City Council decided to see if it would also work for the Sevens. They called it the “walking bus” in their publicity, and hoped we would get a massive crowd to follow us from the Fanzone to the stadium, in the same way that they did during the World Cup.

The big difference between a World Cup rugby game and the Sevens is that the rugby game has a specified kick-off time and if you’re late, you’ll miss it. So there’s clearly going to be a large number of people all heading to the stadium at around the same time.

Sevens weekend is different. Costumed ticket-holders gather in huge numbers in the bars and restaurants that line the waterfront, but they all make their way to the stadium at different times – they drift along whenever they feel like it and they aren’t constrained by a single magic kick-off moment.

The walking bus therefore became the bus that some people catch and others are just as happy to watch as it passes by – both of which were fine by us! The biggest roar from the crowds came as we marched and drummed past the Foxglove bar on Queens Wharf – the balcony was so tightly packed with revellers, I don’t think they could have fitted in a single extra body, and they certainly responded enthusiastically. Great fun.

Sadly I couldn’t take any photos during the parade itself ‘cos I was busy drumming – but I should be getting some actual pictures of the parade from our photographers soon. In the meantime here are some pre- and post-parade Hipstamatic shots for your enjoyment and delectation:

Image gallery

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…and here are some more of the actual parade by Geoff Infield:

Image gallery

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