News, Events and Culture

Palmy Unleashed brings city to life

Friday February 24 2017

Palmy Unleashed is set to bring our city’s streets and public spaces to life with community run events and activities. The new Council funded project will increase vibrancy in the city centre and offer more opportunities for people to get out and have fun.

Photo shows a family picnicking in The Square.

This family were among the crowd who enjoyed an open-air screening of Finding Nemo in The Square earlier this month.

“We have some awesome public spaces in our city centre and want to see more people enjoying them,” says Palmy Unleashed Coordinator Sam Kershaw. “Palmerston North is home to so many passionate and creative people who’re really proud of our city, and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to host community events.”

Over the summer months the city has been humming with a number of large scale events, including the Christmas and New Year concerts in The Square, the NZ Superstock Championships, and Nitro Circus. Many others are still to come: the Festival of Cultures, Royal New Zealand Air Force 2017 Air Tattoo, and Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.

“The larger events are awesome for the city, drawing in crowds from across the region, which is great for our economy,” says Sam. “What we want to do now is encourage people to run their own small to medium sized events so there’s always something interesting going on. These could be anything from film screenings to pop-up exhibitions to walking tours. Pretty much anything is possible. We want people to use their imaginations.”

The Palmy Unleashed team has already trialled some events in The Square with free film screenings and an afternoon of big screen gaming. There are also a number of community organised events underway, like the George Street and Square Edge markets, the Friday night market in the Central Library, and the Sounds of Summer concerts.

“We’ve had great feedback and there’s a real appetite for more. I’m here to help anyone who wants to give it a go and run an event in the central city,” says Sam. “I can help with the things that seem a little daunting like finding a venue and getting Council approvals. It’s about making it as easy as possible for anyone who wants to make our city more vibrant.”

The Placemaking team has also had a busy few months with the parklet outside The Coffee Club and the mural on the toilet block in the Esplanade both being completed.

“These might seem like small things, but when you add them altogether and throw in some community events it really starts to have an impact on the vitality of the city,” says Planner Keegan Thane. “The Placemaking team is also keen to hear from anyone who wants to help create imaginative public spaces in our neighbourhoods and streets. Again it’s all about making it as easy as possible for people to get involved.”

For more information contact sam.kershaw@pncc.govt.nz or keegan.aplin-thane@pncc.govt.nz