Steel, wheels and loud tyre squeals

Franklin County News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RUWADE BRYANT

The streets of Waiuku will soon be­come a haven for, well, ev­ery­one.

On April 30, Waiuku will have its main streets full with cars, ex­ca­va­tors, boats, trac­tors, emer­gency ser­vice dis­plays, im­per­son­ators and much more for its fourth an­nual Steel ‘n’ Wheels fes­ti­val.

The Waiuku Busi­ness and Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion event, which de­buted in 2013, was cre­ated to mo­ti­vate own­ers of mem­o­ra­bilia, ma­chin­ery and au­to­mo­tive mer­chan­dise to show­case their prized pos­ses­sions.

Earplugs will be re­quired when one of the main at­trac­tions roars into life - the Night­mare drag­ster will be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance and is sched­uled to per­form two fire ups.

Waiuku Town Cen­tre man­ager Shar­lene Druyven said: ‘‘The rea­son why (the fes­ti­val) is so suc­cess­ful is be­cause it doesn’t just show­case cars. Not ev­ery­one is into cars, it’s dif­fer­ent gen­res of every­thing from, mo­tors, to putt putt en­gines, to he­li­copters, to boats, to trucks, and rac­ing.’’

The fes­ti­val will cost spec­ta­tors a gold coin do­na­tion, and for those who wish to en­ter their dis­play pieces, reg­is­tra­tions will cost noth­ing.

As­sis­tant town cen­tre man­ager Vanessa New­man said: ‘‘We don’t charge you to come and ex­hibit your awe­some hot rod, or vin­tage car at this event. It’s a low cost com­mu­nity event.’’

Steel ‘n’ Wheels has had reg­is­tra­tions from ex­hibitors through­out the coun­try, stretch­ing from as far as the South Is­land.

Druyven said the event had at­tracted an es­ti­mated 23,000 peo­ple in the past, a num­ber they wanted to im­prove on this year.

‘‘I hope this event will en­cour­age more peo­ple [to come and bring their items and ma­chines] be­cause I know there is a whole lot more things in peo­ples sheds that aren’t com­ing out, or com­ing down,’’ said Druyven.

There will also be a car rally on the Satur­day, April 29, for vis­i­tors who come early, which will see fes­ti­val-go­ers ex­plore Franklin.

In the fu­ture, Druyven said they would like to ex­tend the event, mak­ing it a two to three­day fes­ti­val and add more dis­plays like swap meets.

‘‘We want to put Waiuku on the map.

‘‘We want this to be­come iconic for the bet­ter­ment of Franklin, not only Waiuku.’’

The Night­mare drag­ster will wake you up dur­ing its two sched­uled start ups at next month’s fes­ti­val.

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