Auckland prepares a global celebration

The Auckland Race Village is going global as it launches into an eight-day party celebrating the nations involved in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.

The Auckland stopover’s Global Party will see entertainment from around the world at the Race Village at Viaduct Harbour.

The Race Village opens on Thursday, March 8 and the Global Party kicks off two days later on Saturday, March 10 with France as the first national theme day.

Can-can dancing and cabaret will fill the Race Village before the celebrations move on to the United States, United Arab Emirates, Spain, China, Brazil and New Zealand.

The final day of the Global Party, March 17, will see the Race Village go green for Ireland on St Patrick’s Day. The annual Auckland Parade will be reversed so it finishes at the Race Village where famous Irish musician Sharon Shannon will top the bill.

“It’s a fantastic theme,” said Port Director Tom Mayo. “There are a great variety of acts — bands, dancers, singers and entertainers — something to appeal to everyone.”

The Race Village is free to enter and will be open daily from 9am to 9pm from Thursday, with a full programme of entertainment. To see the full event listings click HERE.

The Race Village also features the Volvo Experience, packed with interactive activities for visitors to try including the Race Simulator, the Grinding Challenge and Air Balls on water.

There’s a chance to Try Sailing with the Volvo Academy or paddle boarding with PUMA. Little ones can drive miniature Volvo pedal cars, trucks and diggers and Jump Around the World on a special bouncy castle.

The six competing Volvo Ocean 70 yachts will be moored in the Pit Lane, offering visitors to the Race Village the opportunity to take a close look at the world’s fastest monohulls. Emirates Team New Zealand’s entry CAMPER is scheduled to open the boat to the public on March 14 from 4.30 – 8.30pm local time.