Island Bay Festival Parade 2023

The long parade along The Parade

Wellington Batucada at Island Bay Festival Parade 2023. Photo by Deborah Shuker.

We’ve been doing the Island Bay Festival parade for a few years now – it’s one of just a few local parades in suburban Wellington, and we always enjoy it. This year was an earlier start than usual – with heaps of festival activities planned for later on in the afternoon, the organisers had decided to kick things off nice and early on Sunday morning.

It’s a long way down The Parade to the waterfront, and perhaps saving the best until last – or maybe it’s because we’re not particularly speedy – we always get placed almost at the end – just in front of the horses (poor things!).

In years gone by we’ve been chivvied along to keep up and go faster – until we’ve practically been galloping down the road at some points. This is VERY difficult while trying to simultaneously carry and play a large drum. For some reason this year there wasn’t the go-faster prodding from the organisers – and our director Sunita wasn’t inclined to speed us up – so we kind of ambled along, having a lovely morning drumming and dancing and waving to the crowds lining The Parade.

Wellington Batucada at the Island Bay Festival Parade 2023 – video by Tom Etuata

Eventually we arrived at the park on the waterfront, all ready to do our usual little static show in front of the bandstand after the speeches – only to find that we’d taken so long to get there, everything was running late and there wasn’t time for us to play again. Oops!

Ah well – lesson learned for next time I guess. Our apologies to the organisers for being too slow this year – maybe we’ll have to invest in little wheely things (motorized even!) for the big drums so we can go faster in future.

Photo gallery

Photos by Deborah Shuker, Hayley Anderson, Jennifer Montgomery, Kelly Etuata, Rebecca Routhan, Sarah Jane, Tom Etuata and Yin Zhu. Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version:

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