Sonya is the head of news at the Bay of Plenty Times.

Lawn mower racing gala day draws the crowds

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Record-breaking crowds had outstanding fun at the Omokoroa No 1 School mower race day and gala event.

Race co-ordinator Liz Wilde, who helped organise the event with Ange Batt and a huge group of helpers, said it had been an "absolutely amazing" day yesterday.

"There are record crowds - I couldn't even begin to say how many thousands are here," Ms Wilde said during a break in yesterday's fun.

"The car park is jam-packed, there's helicopters going up every few minutes. There are medieval knights fighting with kids. The bagpipers have turned up and there's so much yummy food."

Ms Wilde said the community spirit was amazing. There were huge numbers of volunteers helping on the day and local businesses had got behind the event.

Oliver Cartwright, 7, puts his foot down at the Omokoroa No1 School Mower Races and Gala day. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
Oliver Cartwright, 7, puts his foot down at the Omokoroa No1 School Mower Races and Gala day. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

"This year, it's just been taken to another level. We always say it's too hard to tell numbers, but we estimate between 4000 and 5000 people turn up.

"I would say there's easily 6000 to 7000 here today. There's a huge amount of people out there. The field is absolutely humming with people."

Ms Wilde said 20 ride-on lawn mowers had entered the competition, all entering different classes depending on engine size. Then later in the afternoon, there was a "free for all" event.

Having the mowers at the event gave it a "real point of difference", she said. The Bay Waikato Mower Racing Club held their final meet at the gala day each year.

"The gala is fantastic, but that takes it to another level."

Other activities there on the day included mini kid's go karts, lunch time entertainment with live bands and dance acts, archery and Higgins diggers.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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