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Ruakaka racing to entertain big summer crowds


The iconic family friendly series of racedays, known as the Interislander Summer Festival, celebrates ten years at Ruakaka on Saturday January 5. The nationwide series of racing attracts great attendance numbers across both thoroughbred and harness race meetings over summer.

The Ruakaka races will offer thoroughbred racing action as a background to a family friendly environment with the free More FM Kids Go Racing area and exciting on-track entertainment including the Pulse Dancing Group, tug of war and sack races. The kids activities are free as is their entry to the racecourse. 

Ruakaka Surf Life Savers versus the kids tug of war on the grass track is somewhat of a tradition, as is having the racecourse beach manned for swimming on the raceday!

The More FM Kids Go Racing area also includes Rock Up, Vertical Bungy, Bouncy Castle and the very popular Caros’ Crazy Critters animal farm.

To ensure everyone gets a view of all the on-track activities and the racing down the back the Club has hired two Monstavision screens. This will be a great viewing boost for those families that take advantage of the grass hill with their gazebos and picnic rugs. 

There will be a great selection of food vendors on the ‘hill food court’ alongside the Rustic Barn bar and Corona Courtyard. Tee Café, who successfully cater at the Sherwood and Waipu Golf Clubs are the in-house caterers. To suit the tastes of a large crowd there will be extra vendors such as Paella by Dizine, pulled pork rolls from The Kai Waka, fried Hungarian breads from Sweet Chimney, churros from Churros Caribe and whitebait fritters from The Whitebait Shack.

Of course, there is the option to bring your own picnic and set up on the lawn but there is no BYO of alcohol beverages.

Keeping with the local theme, Ruakaka’s Delta Keys will be the live band in the Corona Courtyard.

Entry is $10 for 18-year-olds and over, kids are free. It is great value with the free kids activities, two big screens, live entertainment and, of course, there is thoroughbred racing action.

Some of the horses attracted might be in the lower grade of races but what you will see is a winner who could be a potential future top-grade horse. Last year the best two winners on the day were Richie McHorse and the very successful Group 1 winner Danzdanzdance.

 Interislander Summer Festival – Ruakaka Races, Ruakaka Racecourse. General admission $10 (U18 free), 11am – 5pm.

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