Or­gan­is­ers pin hopes on suc­cess­ful hop

Kaikoura Star - - OUT & ABOUT - PIPPA BROWN

Fi­nal reg­is­tra­tions are not yet known but this year’s Kaik­oura Hop has more events and is ex­pected to draw big num­bers over the four-day week­end.

Hun­dreds are ex­pected to pack into the South Bay Race­course on Thurs­day when it turns into Hop city be­com­ing the cen­tral meet­ing place for hun­dreds of cars, cruis­ing, fun, food and en­ter­tain­ment.

The venue was changed to the race­course last year to ac­com­mo­date more cars.

This year a big food court and pop-up shops will be set up and the num­ber of trade stalls has dou­bled, with ma­jor spon­sors Repco and Pen­rite set­ting up a huge mar­quee-shop.

Even Miss Kaik­oura Hop is get­ting a make-over, with ex­tra cat­e­gories added to the pop­u­lar pin-up com­pe­ti­tion.

Miss Hop or­gan­iser Fonda No­vis said pin-up is a whole new world.

‘‘It’s al­ways been Miss Hop and Miss Kaik­oura Ju­nior, but this year we’ve thrown in Grease’s best-loved char­ac­ters - Sandie and Danny, ‘‘said No­vis.

Miss Kaik­oura Teen, Miss Kaik­oura Sandy, Kaik­oura Hop Danny have been added, and for the younger boys, The Greasers.

‘‘Last year was so big, and I didn’t ex­pect it to get that big, so now peo­ple need to reg­is­ter, al­though the en­try is free,’’ No­vis said.

This year has proved more dif­fi­cult with the roads closed said or­gan­iser Doug O’Cal­la­han with the lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion, pubs and food out­lets.

‘‘Al­though a few are back open, the big en­ter­tain­ment places brought in a lot of peo­ple, and pro­vided meals as well.

‘‘There were also a lot of mo­tels not op­er­at­ing and wait­ing for re­pairs, so we’ve done it a bit dif­fer­ent this year,’’ said O’Cal­la­han.

In­stead of the cruise to Pic­ton on the first day ev­ery­one will meet for an evening car cruise ‘‘to show off a bit’’.

In the evening a Hawai­ian Beach Party is planned at Gooch’s Beach, and later a drive-in movie at South Bay Race­course.

The pop­u­lar burn-out pad will be back on Sun­day, and there will be sev­eral cruises around town so the whole com­mu­nity can catch a glimpse of the cars.

A Shake Rat­tle Roll party will be held on Satur­day, which is open to the pub­lic if num­bers per­mit.

O’Cal­la­han said the North Can­ter­bury Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Re­cov­ery (NCTIR) has been ‘‘ab­so­lutely awe­some’’ work­ing to get State High­way 1 south of Kaik­oura opened ear­lier than sched­uled.

‘‘They are go­ing to try and open the road on Thurs­day at 1pm, and close it later over the week­end at 7pm to make it eas­ier for Christchurch peo­ple to come up, he said.’’

The Kaik­oura Hop is on from Thurs­day, Septem­ber 14 to Sun­day, Septem­ber 17.

PHOTO: PIPPA BROWN/STUFF

Miss Kaik­oura Hop or­gan­iser Fonda No­vis and Kaik­oura Hop or­gan­iser Doug O’Cal­la­han.

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