Big changes for Big Week­end

South Waikato News - - Out & About - LUKE KIRKEBY

Big changes are planned for this year’s an­nual Big Week­end Christ­mas event in Toko­roa.

The com­mit­tee be­hind the pop­u­lar two day De­cem­ber event, which in­cor­po­rates Carols in the Park, the Toko­roa Christ­mas Parade, and the Toko­roa A&P Show, is look­ing at a range of changes to com­bat grow­ing pres­sure from other events for the same au­di­ence.

That could in­clude chang­ing times, ac­tiv­i­ties, and even the venue; cur­rently the Toko­roa Me­mo­rial Sports­ground.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Toko­roa Min­is­ters As­so­ci­a­tion, which or­gan­ises Carols in the Park on the Fri­day night be­fore the Christ­mas parade and A&P show, Pas­tor Tony Fuimaono said Leith Pl has been sug­gested as a new venue.

‘‘Hav­ing it come into town rather than the park I think will be re­ally good be­cause then shops can be kept open,’’ he said.

‘‘Rather than start­ing at 6pm [and fin­ish at 9pm], when a lot of peo­ple are still hav­ing their din­ners, may be peo­ple would also like to come out a lit­tle later so have it [fin­ish] about 10pm.’’

‘‘If it goes to that time shops can be kept open which I think is a great idea but it will have to be sub­ject to ev­ery­one’s agree­ment,’’ he said.

Fuimaono said he’s also work­ing on get­ting some big names to this year’s event.

‘‘[All Blacks] Jerome Kaino’s brother in law has been com­ing ev­ery year and he has promised me he is go­ing to get Jerome to come down this year. We are also look­ing at get­ting the Adeaze boys who are very well known singers who grew up in Toko­roa,’’ he said.

Chair­man Rod Ni­cholas said the A&P show is also set for a shake up.

‘‘Tra­di­tional A&P show things will con­tinue with cat­tle and horses but again we are hav­ing a se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion about those things as well,’’ he said.

‘‘There are a lot of horse events on now and the type of horse events we put on don’t suit horse peo­ple so I think we are on the cusp of do­ing some quite ma­jor changes with them.’’

He said some A&P show ac­tiv­i­ties could also move to Leith Pl.

Tony Williams, who co­or­di­nates the Christ­mas Parade on be­half of the City Lions, said due to its pop­u­lar­ity even­tu­ally the start point in Kinder­garten St may have to be re­con­sid­ered.

‘‘At this stage we are very happy,’’ he said.

Peo­ple have been leav­ing their prop­erty, such as cell­phones and hand­bags, unat­tended in pub­lic places and have come back to find it has gone.

Peo­ple need to re­mem­ber that they are re­spon­si­ble for their own prop­erty and if they leave it unat­tended they can ex­pect it to be stolen.

The same goes for chil­dren leav­ing bags unat­tended at school.

There was a sus­pi­cious house fire in Ne­vis Cr on Sun­day af­ter­noon in Toko­roa at about 2.30pm.

Our in­ves­ti­ga­tions into this are just be­gin­ning so if any­one has any in­for­ma­tion con­tact us at the sta­tion on 885 0100 or anony­mously via Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111.

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