City had it all at weekend

By Ross Pringle

If anyone is ever contemplating an advertisement to show off Wanganui as a destination, either to visit or live, they may well want to revisit Anniversary Weekend 2013.

Quite aside from some scorching weather that lent itself to getting out and about and enabled all to enjoy the wonders of our beautiful environment, there was a host of great events. The plethora of activities over the holiday weekend made a lie of any suggestion that nothing any good ever happens in the city. And there are those who truly believe that. They don't live here, and most probably haven't visited either so have little to base their opinion on.

They would do well to check the pages of the Chronicle over the past few days for an indication of the variety of events available.

It seems hard to believe that 12 months ago we were hosting an international vintage car rally over a number of days. It was one of the biggest events to be held here in recent memory and was a springboard for others to build around. The fear was that we would be unable to build on the momentum gained from that high-profile event and other activities like the inaugural Caboodle would be little more than one-offs.

Happily, the opposite is true. While there wasn't a large-scale anchor event to drive interest in the weekend and attract people from out of town, there was enough going on to satisfy locals and ensure any visitors would find something of interest.

The weekend really had it all, from the street party atmosphere of the Caboodle, water skiing champs, the Burma Rally, the musical carnival by the riverside. And the three-day fishing tournament, soapbox derby, and at Ohingaiti the sports day. Even television paid a visit with auditions for popular reality show The X-Factor.

The fact that so many organisations capitalised on the opportunity presented by the long weekend bodes well for the future. The challenge will be to continue to build on it to ensure the weekend attracts people from far and wide and becomes a staple in the events calendar.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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