A&P events manager stoic ahead of threat

By Doug Laing

New Hawke's Bay A&P; Society events manager Anna Hamilton is hoping that after just six weeks in the job, the 149th Hawke's Bay Show which starts today will be a breeze, but not the sort predicted by weather forecasts.

According to the MetService, strong northwesterlies, increasing in the afternoon, are expected for opening day at Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, where well over 50,000 people are expected to pass through the turnstiles over the next three days.

It doesn't get a lot better, with "a few showers" added to the mix tomorrow, while the public holiday People's Day on Friday will be mainly fine, with a gusty turn to southwesterlies.

Hundreds of marquees and tents have gone up and, after watching numerous site-holders tightening the tethers yesterday, the 29-year-old Miss Hamilton said most seemed well-prepared.

But she admitted the climate's threat to Hawke's Bay's biggest annual event just six weeks after starting the job is "a bit scary".

Raised in Central Hawke's Bay and back on the home patch after working as events manager at Massey University, she says, however, it's not unexpected.

She's been to many of the shows before, as a showgoer, and says the winds are "pretty much tradition".

Given her short time in the role, most of the work had been done before she arrived, but it would be a good dress rehearsal for next year's show, Miss Hamilton said.

She expected that event to be "pretty much my baby" as the organisation focused on the momentous occasion of the show's 150th anniversary.

Hundreds of school children will be among visitors on the first two days, in their first week back at school after the holidays, with a wide array of attractions around the display and sideshow areas, as well as the equestrian events and dog trials which take place on all three days.

Among other feature events are tomorrow's Shepherd's Challenge, the Mounted Games, which is also on Friday, the People's Day Rodeo, and the Great Raihania Shears, marking the 110th anniversary of the world's first machine shearing event held at the show in 1902.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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