Posted by Gold FM on 29/03/2012
The Go Waihi Warm Up Party for Beach Hop in Waihi's town centre rocked yesterday. Thousands of people made their way to Waihi to take part in the 'car-nival' atmosphere. Hundreds of hot rods and classic cars worth millions of dollars rolled into town just after 10.30 to put on a show and shine on Seddon Street and Rosemont Rd which had been closed to traffic for the day.
Go Waihi co-ordinator Brian Gentil said "the road closure allows everyone to walk safely through the streets and check out the cars, the action, the sounds, the bargains and atmosphere".
Stall holders began setting up at 7 am and although there was a bit of a 'brisk' wind wafting through town, the sun shone on the parade of cars as they drove into town and their proud owners parked their vehicles and checked out what was on offer. Americana stalls turned up for the Waihi party this year and there were a wide variety of products on offer for eager memoribilia collectors.
Local non profit groups were invited to set up fund raising stalls and many took up the offer to raise a few funds. The Waihi College Geography class were kept busy serving up delicious 'sammies', burgers and sausages and the Goldfields Railway were selling knitted jerseys to raise funds. There were many other non profits and community groups who took advantage of the day.
The Pumphouse at the top end of Seddon Street 'pumped' to the sounds of Tim and the Rockets, who say they love to perform there because of the fantastic acoustic quality the structure provides. Gerry Lee rocked outside the Waihi Memorial Hall and Al Dawson and the Wild Cats entertained in Rosemont Road.
School children from Waimata School dressed up for the occasion and danced and sang to 3 or 4 classic rock 'n' roll songs outside the Waihi Memorial Hall, and the Waihi Central School choir entertained the crowds with their themed songs as well.
There were some colourful costumes on the streets as well with both locals and visitors getting into the spirit of the rock 'n' roll era.
Some of the shops also decorated their windows in theme and dressed up for the day. Brian Gentil said " Waihi is a fantastic place to live, work and play and we love the opportunity to show our town and community spirit off. The sponsors who support us help to make it all possible. Newmont Waihi Gold, MacMahons and HWE Leightons came on board this year and Go Waihi is very grateful for their sponsorship. We couldn't run events like the Go Waihi Warm Up Party for Beach Hop without the generous support of our sponsors. The local businesses who offer prizes and donate to the event are fantastic as well. Bularangi Harley Davidson Rentals and Tours, the Ti-Tree Cafe, The Sterling, Waitete Restaurant & Cafe, New World, Holiday Accommodation Whiritoa, Chook House Fowler's Surf and Fashion, Diamonds On Seddon, Mitre 10, Banana Pepper, The Habby Shop and The Second Cup Cafe are all to be congratulated for their generous support.
Brian Gentil also gave a big 'thumbs up' to the volunteers who helped throughout the day saying the Waihi Lions Club, Lynne de Malmanche, Dawn Mellow, Josh Gentil, Glenis Gentil, Kaishala Manning, Mike Hickey, and our local Standfast Judo club, who all dedicated most of their day to make sure the 'party' ran smoothly, are fantastic advocates for Waihi.
The Gold FM Drag Race was a highlight again this year with the race split into two heats and a final to be able to fit the glamourous 'Queens' across the street. The Te Awamutu Dairy Queens were back again this year along with Newmont Waihi Gold (The Golden Retrievers), Mitre 10 (The Mustang Sallys), Banana Pepper (The Banana Pepper Pussycats) and New World (The Tropical Smoothies). We had a team (the Glam Busters) enter all the way from Nelson and Opus International Consultants entered two teams (The Opus-In Boots and Desperate Opus Housewives). Another new team this year was from Lavendar House in Franklin Road, A Bride and 2 Bridesmaids made their debut run.
A big surprise this year was a 'flash mob dance' put on by members of the public and choreographed by the Dynamik Hip Hop Crew from Waihi. Brian Gentil said "sister's Leanne and Hayley Drake who run dance classes locally were all for the idea and did a fantastic job of grooming members of the public of all ages into a well rehearsed act that came from nowhere, performed and melted back into the crowd after wowing them with their unexpected performance".
Newmont Waihi Gold sponsored unique trophies that are mounted on a piece of ore from the underground Favona mine. Graham Holly from Kaitikati won the 'Best Classic Car' trophy for the presentation of his 1967 Impala Coupe. His car was judged the winner by Bruce Preddy from MacMahons who also presented Graham with his trophy.
Glen Grindley, Newmont's Operation's Manager judged and presented the 'Best Hot Rod', which must a pre 1949 vehicle. 'Girl Power' was the winner this year with Maude (Maureen) Fairborne from Christchurch.
A 'once in a lifetime' prize to go deep underground into the Favona mine was won by Marty Bougen who entered his details at the Newmont 'bogger' display at the top end of Seddon Street.
'Best Dressed Male' went to Lyall Cotton from Brisbane who won a watch from Diamonds on Seddon, and Best Dressed Female was won by Robyn Ganley from Glenbrook Beach, who received a dinner voucher for a meal for two from Waitete Restaurant and Cafe.
Noddy Watts, the organiser of Beach Hop which is based in Whangamata, thanked Waihi for the great day during the main prize giving and when asked by Brian Gentil whether Beach Hop would be back for more of what Waihi can offer next year, said "hell yeah!".
After a brilliant day of sunshine, colour and entertainment the 'Beach Hoppers' began departing for Whangamata late in the afternoon. Brian Gentil said, "we have a motto at Go Waihi -'Rule Number One Is To Have Fun", and we want them to spread the word about the Go Waihi Warm Up Party and head back for another FUN event in 2013".
The Harcourts team turned heads with their awesome display this year.