It is Wellington’s most iconic street – and perhaps even one of the most well known in all of New Zealand. Named after an early 1840 settler ship and now enjoying registered historic area status, Cuba St is an artsy and cultured inner city slice of bohemia, brimming with colour and the cool factor. Its world famous bucket fountain is just one draw; there are countless excellent dining, drinking and shopping outlets along this stretch of Wellington to keep you occupied for hours, if not days on end. When you’re visiting from out of town with your Wellington Airport car rental from Hertz, ensure you make time in your itinerary to visit the one and only Cuba St.
Given its place in the city, it’s no surprise that Cuba St has its very own festival. The original Cuba Street Carnival started in 1990 and over the next decade expanded to become New Zealand’s biggest street festival, attracting between 10-20,000 visitors in its later years. Unfortunately, a lack of funding led to its demise.
However, this year the council approved a budget that included funding for an annual street festival based around the Cuba Street precinct. And thus, in 2015 an all new Cuba St festival returns: CubaDupa.
Over the weekend of 28 and 29 March 2015 from 12 noon onwards, Wellington’s most iconic street will be transformed into a magical playground of light, sound and taste. Manners, Dixon and Cuba Sts will all be closed for the two-day all-ages event, with the central theme being “Get on up, Get on down”. Restaurants will overflow outdoors while visual, theatre, dance, music and circus acts and installations fill the spaces in the laneways and streets around the Cuba St quarter down to Wakefield Street and up to Abel Smith Street, from Victoria Street to Taranaki Street.
Rather than a typical street parade, CubaDupa is slated to be a unique carnival inspired atmosphere, an event celebrating the change of seasons as the last big party of the summer. Organised by an expert team including the artistic director of the WOMAD and Taranaki International Arts Festival, and the group behind the NZ Fringe Festival, it’s bound to be an unforgettable event.