The area around Hawkes’ Bay on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island was formerly Hawkes’ Bay Province, but the original provincial system was abolished in 1876. Nonetheless, the people in the region of the former province celebrate Hawkes’ Bay Anniversary Day as a public holiday each year.
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Hawkes’ Bay Anniversary Day commemorates the founding of Hawkes’ Bay Province on 1 November, 1858, when the area was split off from Auckland Province. However, the date of this regional public holiday (and off-work day) has been moved to the Friday immediately before Labour Day. As Labour Day falls on the fourth Monday in October, Hawkes’ Bay Anniversary Day always comes in mid to late October.
The main event of Hawkes’ Bay Anniversary Day is the Royal Agricultural Show, hosted by the Hawkes’ Bay A & P Society. The anniversary day lands on the last day of the show. The show itself features competitions for the best sheep, horses, alpacas, and other livestock. Fairs, food stalls, games, and more may also be held.
The city of Napier is the centre of celebration, but Hastings and smaller towns will also have their own events going on as well.