Town pulls to­gether for pa­rade

Te Puke Times - - Front Page - By STU­ART WHITAKER [email protected]­times.co.nz

There may have only been one float pa­rade in Te Puke this De­cem­ber, but or­gan­iser Re­becca Larsen feels like she has or­gan­ised two.

After the pa­rade was post­poned on the morn­ing of its orig­i­nal stag­ing date of De­cem­ber 1, Re­becca im­me­di­ately be­gan the task of work­ing out if it was go­ing to be pos­si­ble to squeeze in a new date be­fore Christ­mas.

Western Bay of Plenty Dis­trict Coun­cil came to the party and agreed a new date, De­cem­ber 15, but there was still doubt about how many en­trants would be able to make the resched­uled event. Emails were fired, here there and ev­ery­where, in­vi­ta­tions were is­sued and fingers were crossed. The mas­sive thun­der­storm of Fri­day night added more stress, but a largely dry Satur­day morn­ing meant the pa­rade went ahead at the sec­ond at­tempt.

“For me it’s been like run­ning two events back to back,” says Re­becca, Epic Te Puke’s mar­ket­ing man­ager.

While Satur­day’s pa­rade was smaller than many, that didn’t make it any less suc­cess­ful with an ap­pre­cia­tive crowd lin­ing Jellicoe St.

‘‘It went re­ally well. It was good it worked out in the end after all the strug­gles,’’ says Re­becca. ‘‘And we were re­ally pleased with the turnout of floats and the peo­ple that came on the day and re­sponded to our re­quest for them to bring their spe­cial cars. We had ex­tra floats turn up that I didn’t re­alise were go­ing to be there.’’

One high­light for Re­becca — who has writ­ten two chil­dren’s books — was that her books and Ko Mauao te Maunga: Leg­end of Mauao by Deb­bie Mccauley and Deb­bie Tipuna were cho­sen as the theme for the Jemma’s Home­based child­care float. The float had orig­i­nally been en­tered in the Tau­ranga pa­rade that had also fallen vic­tim of the De­cem­ber 1 storm.

“That ob­vi­ously meant a lot to me be­cause that’s the first time any­one has done any­thing like that with my books as far as I’m aware.”

As­tro Cheer cheer­lead­ers from Mount Maun­ganui and Tau­ranga Skatescool also headed to Te Puke on Satur­day for the pa­rade.

While some of the or­gan­i­sa­tions that had en­tered the first pa­rade weren’t able to make it to the re­ar­ranged one, Te Puke scouts were de­ter­mined to be there and were re­warded with the supreme award for the best en­try.

“The scouts had been in con­tact with me ever since the post­pone­ment of the first pa­rade — they ob­vi­ously put a lot of work into their float and thor­oughly de­served the supreme prize.”

All the cat­e­gory win­ners were given their win­nings in Epic dol­lars — that can only be spent in Te Puke.

“We’ve in­jected $2600 of Epic dol­lars back into town and that’s im­por­tant for the re­tail­ers — it’s a way of giv­ing back to the re­tail­ers.”

Aroha Kapi and her team from Jemma’s home-based child­care chose to do­nate part of their prize to Kai Aroha.

Prizewin­ners:

AFFCO Rangiuru — Com­mu­nity Or­gan­i­sa­tions: 1st Te Puke Tigers Rugby League Club, 2nd Skatescool Tau­ranga, 3rd Vec­tor Group/tai Chi.

Ul­ti­mate Mo­tor Group — Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­tor: 1st JEMMAS Home­based Child­care.

Ze­spri Busi­ness and Com­mer­cial: 1st Logi­cool Ltd, 2nd E Sen­sual Beauty, 3rd As­tro Cheer.

DMS Progrow­ers Supreme award: Te Puke Scouts who won the Te Puke Jewellers tro­phy.

Te Puke Scouts won the over­all prize for the best float at the Seek Te Puke Christ­mas Float Pa­rade.

Keely Schoonder­wo­erd from the As­tro Cheer cheer­lead­ers is launched into the air from a hu­man “bas­ket”.

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