Townies are being encouraged to pull on their gumboots, get out their check shirts and head to Warkworth on Auckland Anniversary Weekend for what’s promising to be a one-in-150 year event.
A fun-filled two-day programme featuring everything from racing sheep to watermelon-eating contests will mark the 150th annual Warkworth A&P Lifestyle Show on January 28 and 29.
The show is one of New Zealand’s longest running annual events and has a tradition of bringing town and country people together to celebrate and enjoy NZ’s rural heritage. The major sponsors are Bayleys and Wharehine.
Proud farmers and lifestylers will be showing their carefully tended cattle, sheep and goats, and the Puhoi Axeman will muscle in on the action with an exciting wood-chopping demonstration including axe-throwing. There will be shearing competitions, dog trials and the unusual ewe-racing spectacle, NZ’s answer to the Melbourne Cup.
Dog trials, ranch horse displays, a trade show and market, military memorabilia display, cake baking contests and sideshow events are just some of the other activities on the 150th anniversary programme.
The equestrian section, which has been granted Royal Event status, will be held over two days. It’s expected to draw a particularly strong field as all Supreme Champions will receive coveted red, white and blue sashes. Some of NZ’s top riders will be competing.
A crowd-pleaser for motoring buffs will be the stopover of 43 veteran cars at the showgrounds on Sunday morning. The rally of century-old vehicles is a re-enactment of a Parliamentary Tour of the north in 1917 to inspect the state of the roads.
Locals will show their prowess on the sports field in the Top Town-like SillyBuggers Challenge on Sunday. This will pit family against family, sports club against sports club, and business against business for a mystery prize.
A special commemorative booklet has been produced to mark the anniversary, which will be available at the show.
Show gates open at 8.30am on both Saturday and Sunday. Entry (which covers both days) is $15 per adult, $5 for children 5-14 yrs; under five free. There is also a Family Pass for two adults and up to four children for $40. And the best news of all – there is plenty of free parking.
n For full programme details, go to warkworthaandpshow.com