The Parikino Sports Club is about to become one of the Grand Ol' Dame's of country fairs when it celebrates its 90th anniversary on March 3.

The celebrations will co-incide with the club's annual Parikino Horse Sports and when it comes to picnic sports days there are now few around the Whanganui district to beat Parikino.

The club has grown in leaps and bounds over the years with the sports held annually, except for three years during the second world war and several times more recently due to storms in the district.

The sports started from the local school sports and grew to the extent of more than 1000 paying at the gates during the 1930s.

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Highland pipe bands attended with boats coming from Whanganui and Pipiriki for the sports. The Pipiriki boat used to stay the night for the major dance and social and would return the next day.

In 1930, the British Isles rugby side played its very first game in the country on the sports ground, beating a Parikino XV in a practice match before going on to beat Whanganui 19-3.

Today there is no gate charge and the sports are open for all to enjoy a family day of entertainment in the country. A full programme of horse events, including ponies as well as hacks and shepherds events will take place.

The Parikino iron man/woman competition with a vertical climb up the infamous face is as spectacular as the views it reveals.

As well as the horse events, the sports also attract woodchoppers from around the region.

The sports could not continue for such a long period without the hard work and contribution of the sports club committee members and sponsors.

The sports day begins at 9am with the family-friendly extravaganza going through until the wee hours.