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Americarna Invercargill got underway with Registration opening at the Bill Richardson Truck museum at 10:00am, Wednesday 23rd March. The morning saw a number of local entrants come to collect their event info. When the out of town 'convoyers' arrived around lunch time, it was all on and the next few hours were crazy while we pumped out Registration folders............
The Bill Richardson Truck museum was also open for entrants to view at this time. Many took the opportunity to check out this extensive truck and memorabilia collection.
Thursday was the first run for Americarna Invercargill 2011. All cars were parked in at Stadium Southland ready to leave at 10:00am. We headed off for the days cruise with our final destination being Tuatapere. Before leaving Invercargill we cruised through beautiful Queens Park. This was a fantastic opportunity for our entrants to view and appreciate the amazing grounds while driving their pride and joy. This was also a great privilege for Americarna as the park is not usually open for vehicle access. From Invercargill we headed in the direction of Riverton and took a detour there and drove a loop through the water front side of the township. The scenery through the little settlement was amazing. From there we drove the coastal road onto Tuatapere; here we stopped at the Waiau Town & Country Club where they catered lunch for us. Everyone had the opportunity to sit outside and picnic in the sunshine on the large front lawn or take a seat inside at the bar. It was a very relaxing day with the chance to check out the cars while they were parked. The return to Invercargill was at everyone’s leisure. Many stopped in Riverton on their way back for refreshments, to take in the beautiful scenery or look through the Te Hikoi Heritage Museum. That evening was ‘Movie Night’ at the Civic Theatre. We were entertained by a couple of talented local musicians before the screening of American Graffiti.
Friday was day two of the event. Today we headed for Te Anau, a first for the Americarna Invercargill event. We left Stadium Southland at 9:00am and arrived in Te Anau just after 11:00am. When we arrived we were directed through the main street and parked up just in behind the CBD area with many locals and school children out to wave us through. Once parked, we headed off to find a spot for lunch and the chance to check out the incredible scenery. Te Anau is very picturesque and the locals we meet were extremely welcoming. Everyone made their way back at their leisure in time for Friday Night Main Street Cruising! Dee & Tay Streets were closed off to public access late in the day and from 6:00pm a group of big American rigs took to the road to cruise the route until 6:30pm. The route was then opened to Americarna entrants. The streets were lined with thousands of Invercargill locals out to enjoy the fantastic spectacle of American machines rumbling through the streets. It was a brilliant night enjoyed by all without incident.
Saturday was Country Fair day. The weather unfortunately was not kind to us. It was very wet most of the day but we had some great support from hundreds of locals happy to brave the weather. The entrant’s cars were parked up on display, trade and craft stalls were moved inside to the Badminton Hall while the food vendors and outdoor children’s activities soldiered on through the rain. At 3:45pm the Passport Promotion and the $5000 cash prize was drawn by Miss Americarna 2011 – Nicole Buchanan.
The entrant/sponsor dinner and after function was held at the Ascot Park Hotel. They catered a beautiful buffet dinner and did a fantastic job of setting up and decorating the tables. A great night was had by all and after the official speeches we danced the night away to music performed by The Southern Belles followed by Post No Bills.
To view the photos that were taken at the event by our official event photographer Mark Bellringer please go to: www.markbellringer.co.nz
To all and everyone that supported the event we appreciate your participation and involvement. We really enjoyed running the event in Invercargill and leave with many great memories of the people and our time in Southland!
The Americarna Team
John, Toni & Tania.