Winter is closing in, shrinking as it advances those precious daylight hours, with the sky now charcoaled before most of us leave work each day. If that's a gloomy thought, First Thursdays tenders a seductively flamboyant riposte. One rather like a mug of mulled wine, only free and suitable for all-ages. Collaborative and community focused, the festival has its roots in a small-scale carnival that first lit up K' Road in 2009. These days, with biannual instalments, First Thursdays attracts more than 7000 visitors.
Whereas previous years have seen themes drawn from afar, this winter's episode will engage in some self love — celebrating all things K' Road. The street where, no matter the hour nor the weather, there's always someone smoking a shisha; where strip clubs adjoin art galleries; live music venues nestle between not-for-profits; and where, though the high/low cultural divide has crept in of late, it is much less established than in other parts of the city such as nearby Ponsonby.
With extended hours and in-store specials at K' Road's many outlets, food and drink vendors galore, art installations and performances from the strip's favourites such as the team at Caluzzi, this July's First Thursdays has the makings of a vibrant evening of festivities. Come and pay homage to the road that sits apart as a rare outpost of all things quirky, quaint and queer — an unabashedly flourescent light in the midst of the continuing gentrification, and greying, of central Auckland.
The fun will unroll from 6pm.
Image: First Thursdays, K' Road Business Association.