Sun comes out for the races

Upper Hutt Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - ELEANOR WEN­MAN

‘‘It was a big crowd and ev­ery­one was out there en­joy­ing them­selves.’’

The sun shone and peo­ple turned out in the thou­sands for a fam­ily day at Tren­tham Race­course on Satur­day.

The fam­ily day was part of the an­nual In­ter­is­lander Sum­mer Fes­ti­val which Up­per Hutt City Mayor Wayne Guppy de­scribed as a great suc­cess.

‘‘It was a big crowd and ev­ery­one was out there en­joy­ing them­selves.’’

The week­end turned into a big party for Welling­ton, es­pe­cially with the Rugby Sev­ens on at the same time, as well as the Te Ra o Te Raukura mu­sic fes­ti­val in Lower Hutt.

‘‘I spoke to a few peo­ple at the races who said they were at the races on Satur­day and were go­ing into the Sev­ens on Sun­day.’’

As an added bonus, the weather turned out beau­ti­fully for the Fam­ily Day.

‘‘It was our first real day of sum­mer,’’ Welling­ton Rac­ing Club spokesman Stephen Ber­ry­man said.

The or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee worked with Sev­ens rep­re­sen­ta­tives to make the week­end the best it could be for Welling­ton.

‘‘The last week­end of Jan­uary used to be Welling­ton Cup Day. Now it’s a fam­ily day, just to make sure we’re do­ing the best thing for Welling­ton,’’ Ber­ry­man said.

Free events were held for fam­i­lies and kids, in­clud­ing fash­ion shows, tug of war and a Dis­ney sing-along with Lit­tle Mer­maid Ariel and her friends.

‘‘Adults were un­wind­ing af­ter the Christ­mas rush, catch­ing up with friends and hav­ing a flut­ter on the horses, while the kids were oc­cu­pied by our all-day en­ter­tain­ment,’’ Ber­ry­man said.

About 4500 peo­ple turned out for the day - a good mix of fam­i­lies and the rac­ing com­mu­nity.

‘‘Be­cause we had a Group One race on the day we had a good com­bi­na­tion of both.’’

He hoped the ex­pe­ri­ence of the day would en­cour­age more fam­i­lies to keep com­ing to races dur­ing the sea­son.

The In­ter­is­lander Sum­mer Fes­ti­val has 36 events this sea­son, with races across the coun­try from Ruakaka to Waik­ouaiti.

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