Sandy sur­prises await trea­sure seek­ers

The Tribune (NZ) - - WHAT’S ON - RICHARD MAYS

Fam­i­lies will be round­ing up the kids and hit­ting the beach in search of buried trea­sure on the day af­ter New Year’s Day.

The an­nual Levin & Dis­tricts Brass Band Big Dig has been a fam­ily favourite for more than 28 years.

Band pres­i­dent Chris Crad­dock said it gets ‘‘big­ger and bet­ter’’ each year.

Gen­er­ous do­na­tions from lo­cal busi­nesses and the com­mu­nity, and fam­ily and friends of band mem­bers mean more than 300 prize to­kens, with a to­tal value of $7000, will be hidden in the Waitarere Beach sands.

‘‘There are two prize pits - one for adults and the other for kids 14 and un­der. That doesn’t stop kids from dig­ging in the adult pit, or adults help­ing out in the chil­dren’s pit. It’s just that the types of prizes are dif­fer­ent.’’

The top prize in both pits is a watch, but Crad­dock said there would be plenty of other high­lights, with each of the hidden to­kens worth at least $20, and some be­tween $50 and $100.

The rule is that it is hand dig­ging only. No tools or im­ple­ments are al­lowed.

With crowds of be­tween 800 and 1300 peo­ple, de­pend­ing on the weather, Crad­dock said there was roughly a one-in-three chance of find­ing a prize.

Suc­cess­ful trea­sure hunters were able to take their to­kens to the surf life­sav­ing club­house where the prizes were dis­played and swap it for the cor­re­spond­ing item.

‘‘It’s a great fun fam­ily ac­tiv­ity.’’

Pro­ceeds from the dig go to­wards buy­ing in­stru­ments for the band’s youth ed­u­ca­tion pro- gramme.

Waitarere Beach is south of Fox­ton, off State High­way 1 north of Levin. The flat rate $3 tick­ets will be avail­able at the tent near jthe main beach en­trance from 9am on Mon­day, Jan­uary 2, with the Big Dig un­der way at 2pm.

DAVID UN­WIN/FAIRFAX NZ.

Trea­sure hunters Emily Thomas, 4, and Shaun de Ma­manche scrabble in the sand for prizes dur­ing last year’s Waitarere Beach Big Dig.

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