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The Hutt event kicked off on Wednesday 23rd February with Registration and Merchandise opening at 12.00noon at the Petone Working Mens Club. There was a steady stream of entrants arriving to collect their event info right from the start..........
Then at 2.00pm there was special cruise around the schools in the Wainuiomata area. We had over 60 cars participate in this cruise which was lead by Hutt City Mayor – Ray Wallace in the Americarna PT while under police escort. The run finished off at the Wainuiomata RSA with an afternoon tea hosted by Mayor Ray. Junior Kustom Rides also had an open workshop for entrants from 2.00pm onwards. A huge thank you to Sue, Mark & their team for welcoming our entrants and providing refreshments. The guys at Juniors also helped a number of entrants over the week get their cars back on the road after experiencing issues.
Thursday was the very first cruise day for Americarna Hutt City. All cars were parked in the grounds across from the Petone Working Mens Club by 10.30am ready to head off to Kapiti with the stop for the day being Southwards Car Museum. The cruise headed up to Kapiti via state highway 1 turning in at Poplar Ave, Raumati South, up around Paraparaumu Beach and onto the Museum. Once at our destination the cars were parked up in the grounds. Entrants then took the chance pull out their picnic or grab the lunch that was catered by the onsite cafe and check out the collection of vehicles in the museum. The day was beautiful, sunny & warm and was finished off by a dance routine put together by the Wellington Performing Arts dance company.
On day two the final destination for the cruise was Masterton. At 10.00am sharp the convoy took to the road, cruising through Lower Hutt’s High Street onto Upper Hutt via Fergusson Drive and over the Rimutaka’s to Masterton. It was again a fantastic day, perfect for the drive. The convoy was waved through by many school children and it was also great to see many residents from the local rest homes out along the road side to greet our entrants. The Wairarapa is very picturesque and the drive through Featherston, Greytown & Caterton before reaching Masterton was fantastic. Once we reached Masterton we were parked in the CBD and were greeted by a huge local crowd that came out to see the cars. The organisers in Masterton had turned the Main Street into a movie set and as we got out of our cars we were handed a bag of popcorn by some young ‘American’ country folk and a programme of the days activities. There were bands playing in the street, a fantastic display of cars and great food and shopping on offer for both our entrants and the locals. The convoy spent 2 hours in the main street area and at 2.00pm we all started to depart and head for our choice of the many attractions in the Wairarapa area. Many of our entrants chose to visit Magoo’s Street Rods where Lloyd had an open workshop as well as many stopping in at Gasoline Heaven.
On the return to Hutt City was the set up for the Friday night cruise down Jackson Street Petone. The road closure took effect from 6:30pm. There was a large crowd of locals out to see the cars and once the sun started going down the cars turned their headlights on and looked fantastic against the backdrop of the old historic buildings that line Jackson Street. There were a few issues with gatecrashers during the evening with a dozen or so freeloaders trying to cruise the route illegally but once we realised that they had forged vehicle ID they were sorted out and exited very swiftly. There was one vehicle that was impounded by the police for sustained loss of traction but pleasing to note that this was a ‘non entrant’.
Saturday - Country Fair day! All cars were in and parked up in the fair grounds before the gates opened at 10:0am. What a day! It started off pretty cold but thankfully without rain. In fact we were lucky with the weather all week; it had been beautiful everyday! There was a great crowd turn out for the fair with rides, face painting and magic shows for the kids which were free once you had paid to enter the venue. The cues for the rides were constant right up until 4.00pm. There was music playing throughout the day in all the areas of the grounds which added to a great atmosphere. There were dancing performances, craft & trade stalls, food vendors along with many other activities. We have received some very positive feedback regarding the fair with many commenting it was the best they had been too!
At 3:45pm the prizes for the Passport Promotion and the $5000 cash giveaway were drawn by Hutt City’s Miss Americarna Ashley Bradley. This ended what was a brilliant day.
The after function that night was held at the Petone Working Mens Club from 7:00pm. The Club had been a great event hub all week so it was fitting to have our finale there. The evening started off with a stint of entertainment from Shawn Preston, followed by Mark Southon, then speeches and the cutting of the ‘Roadster’ cake that was kindly made and donated by Janus Bakkerji followed before The Beat Girls came on stage to rock us through the rest of the evening. That bought about the end of the very first Americarna Hutt City.
To view photos taken by our offical photographer Mark Bellringer; please go to:
Thank you to all those that supported us during our first Americarna Hutt City. Thank you to those entrants that made the trip up from Christchurch even though they had just been hit by the devastating earthquake. Thank you to those that donated money to the Red Cross Christchurch Appeal through us, your donations have been extremely generous!
Hope to see you all down in Hutt City again in 2013.
The Americarna Team
John, Toni & Tania