Share your memories of the Municipal Building Assembly Hall and get a chance to dance as the Ballroom opens

Debutantes in the Assembly Hall of the Hastings Municipal Building in 1947. Photo/Supplied

As the refurbishment of the Hastings Municipal Building comes to an end, Hastings District Council invites the community back to the Assembly Hall dance floor.

The Last Dance, First Dance initiative is a national search for people who danced in the Municipal Building’s Assembly Hall before it closed eight years ago for updates.

By sharing your stories of dancing the night away, people will enter the raffle to win a chance to be the first to dance in the renovated ballroom.

On August 6, the municipal building at Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Center is finally ready to welcome people back.

The Historic Ballroom of the Municipal Building being restored and earthquake-proofed.  Photo/Warren Buckland
The Historic Ballroom of the Municipal Building being restored and earthquake-proofed. Photo/Warren Buckland

Memories are set to come alive at a special reopening event where dancers of old will have the chance to put on their heels again for the first dance.

HDC is looking for submissions from anyone who has ever danced on the original spring dance floor.

It could be wedding dances, school balls, rock ‘n’ roll, ballet recitals, 21st birthday parties or any other occasion where you may have been dancing the night away.

Toitoi Kaiwhakahaere manager Megan Peacock-Coyle explained that all sorts of occasions have taken place in the hall over the years, making the place so special for the community of Hastings.

Now that the Hastings Municipal Building Assembly Hall Ballroom is complete, HDC is gearing up for the first dance on August 6.  Photo / Provided
Now that the Hastings Municipal Building Assembly Hall Ballroom is complete, HDC is gearing up for the first dance on August 6. Photo / Provided

“We know our Hastings community is extremely passionate about the Muni,” Peacock-Coyle said.

In 2014 the community was asked if they wanted to save the hall, HDC received over 3000 submissions supporting the strengthening and restoration.

“We are really looking forward to reopening the building to the general public and we thought there would be no better way to mark the occasion than by revealing the memories and special moments of the people they experienced there. -low over the years,” Peacock-Coyle said.

Since inviting people to participate in Last Dance, First Dance, the council has had many “beautiful” entries and many memories.

Director of Toitoi Kaiwhakahaere said so far, “We have heard of a local couple who got engaged at the meeting hall 47 years ago, a lady who celebrated her 21st birthday there 68 years ago, and many people who remember going dancing on a Friday night in the 60s and 70s”.

Winners of the Last Dance, First Dance will receive tickets to the opening weekend festivities, including the cocktail party, where they will dance the night away alongside other revelers and VIP guests, including the coach and choreographer by Dancing with the Stars Nerida Cortese.

You can tell your story and enter the Last Dance, First Dance competition at: https://www.toitoivenues.co.nz/whats-on/municipal-building-grand-opening/enter-last-dance-first-dance/

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