Carnival pulls in mighty machines

Kawakawa's Puff and Pull Carnival, which sees teams of people engaged in tug-of-war contests to pull the town's steam train Gabriel, will have a new attraction this year - machine versus machine.

The carnival, being held in Kawakawa's main street from 10am on Sunday, will have the town's historic steam train engaged in a battle royal tug-of-war contest with a powerful armoured car.

Organisers said the new event would see the two mighty machines battle for supremacy alongside the human tug-of-war entrants.

The day will start with the Trek the Track for schools and community, with walkers assembling at 8.15am in the car park behind the Ngati Hine Health Trust building, before heading out under marshals from the Rotary Club.

Then from 10am, will come the contests by school and community teams to pull Gabriel up and down the main street. Northland Rugby and Bay of Islands College will both be entering teams to defend their titles.

This year, the course has been shortened, the maximum number in the adult teams reduced to 16, and entry is free, so those wanting to take part need to get their entries in soon.

A number of community teams have already confirmed they will take part, including Central Butchery, Star Hotel, Moerewa Tigers, Kawakawa Fire Brigade, Paihia Fire Brigade and Bay Cosmos.

Several schools will also compete against defending champions Bay of Islands College, including Karetu, Opua, Kawakawa, Pakaraka and Waikare.

In another change to the format this year, prize-giving will take place in Johnson Park where there will be food, Irish music, bouncy castles and steam traction rides.

There will be a special Irish component to the day with the feature event being the tug of war between Gabriel from the south versus a Humber Pig armoured car from the North. Which great machine will win? You have to be there to find out.

All enquiries to Paul Cleary 0274 425 874, or Shirley Bradshaw 0211 712 697.

- Northern Advocate

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