Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cheerio to Deco

It's the final day of the Art Deco Weekend and the proceedings are starting to wind down for this year's celebrations. However, there's still plenty on offer to round off the biggest event in the Hawke's Bay calendar.

To start off the day we walked round the corner of our hostel to the Masonic Hotel, as this was the starting line for the Soap Box Derby. This is an annual event where home-made carts race down Tennyson St for personal glory! There was a whole variety of racers including a wine bottle shaped cart, a steam engine (with liquid nitrogen steam), Brum from the children's TV series, Gertie the Truck, an army Jeep, plus many other streamlined racers. It was all done in good spirit and the event drew in a huge crowd who lined both sides of Tennyson St - it kind of reminded me of the episode of The Simpsons, Saturdays of Thunder with a similar Soap Box Derby race. There was even a parade at the end for all the racers to showcase their home-made efforts.

It's a fine line between success and failure!

This soap box racer was so fast it was just a mere blur!

Moving on to the next scheduled event of the day, we headed over to the Colonnade for the Veronica Bell Parade. At the Veronica Sunbay, the bell from the HMS Veronica is installed with a fully military ceremony to commemorate the efforts of the navy during the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake. This was an especially poignant reminder in light of the first anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake. The bell is rung to herald the conclusion of the Art Deco Weekend and is guarded by the Sea Scouts until it is taken to Waiapu Anglican Cathedral later on during the day.

The bell from HMS Veronica hanging from the Sunbay

Outside the i-SITE visitor centre, the Hawke's Bay Vintage Car Club were collecting donations in exchange for a car ride. It would have been rude not have taken up the opportunity so we took a short ride down the Marine Parade in a luxury Packard. Lizzie got to ride shotgun whilst I had the back all to myself. It was a smooth ride with the wind in your face and the driver called his Packard "an American Rolls Royce" and claimed it was "better than a Buick!".

This one's for you Austin!

The gauntlet had been thrown down for a rematch on the Par 2 Mini Golf after my victory yesterday. This time Deco Drive would be the course to tee-off on. It was much more challenging as it got the better of me and Lizzie was handed victory by a clear 12 strokes! It was a bitter pill to swallow.

Hole in one!

The undisputed winner of Deco Drive

Walking back through the parade we caught the very end of the Gatsby Picnic with the various themed gazebos on the Marine Parade Gardens. However, the celebrations were all winding down for this year but as with anything, all good things must come to an end...

The Pania of the Reef statue at the start of the Gatsby Picnic

That's all folks!

The sun sets on another Art Deco Weekend, until next year

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