26 Jul 2008

Thousands party in Nuku'alofa ahead of coronation

7:56 pm on 26 July 2008

A huge street party was held in the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa on Friday night, in preparation for the crowning of King George Tupou V.

The police estimate 10,000 people were at the party, held a week before the coronation.

The New Zealand Army band has been rehearsing for the coronation with Defence Force bands from Tonga, Australia and the United States.

The army's Director of Music, Captain Leanne Smith, says the band will play well known marches at the coronation of King George Tupou V, as well as new works composed for the occasion.