Exactly eight months on from the original date for Repco Beach Hop 2020, New Zealand's favourite celebration of 50s and 60s culture is all go.
Organiser Noddy Watts says the event on November 25-29 from Waihi to Whangamata and Whitianga had lost between 80 and 100 of its classic car owner entrants but lockdown had allowed others to work on their cars and make the event next week.
"From the public point of view we don't know how big it will be, but we think New Zealand is ready for a celebration, so if the weather is fine, we're expecting it to be a good crowd."
He says anyone who is anxious about coming should stay away and has an important message to all: "If you are feeling unwell, stay home."
Waihi is kicking off the Repco Beach Hop Warm Up Party next week with some new, hilarious entertainment in the mix, differing to the usual Drag Race.
Noddy says accommodation was available in Whangamata for visitors and he expected the date of November would work well for retailers, because it was just outside of the peak season.
The March event was postponed just days before the Government's announcement of lockdown levels, with the country plunged into level 4 lockdown at a time when Beach Hop would have been held.
He acknowledged the sponsors and support from Thames-Coromandel District Council and the community which have helped the Beach Hop team of volunteers to get the event going this time around.
"It's quite sobering when you think back," he says. "We were in level 1 back then which is the same level that we're in now."
Noddy announced via a livestream on Facebook that the Repco Beach Hop - which draws up to 100,000 people - would be postponed.
"Then 35 minutes later Jacinda [Ardern] made the announcement that we're going into level 2 lockdown which meant no more than 100 people could've gathered."
Repco Beach Hop is an important economic development driver for the Coromandel.
"We were naturally concerned the effect that not having the event would have on the town but looking at what's happened they've had a really good winter," he says.
Because of closed borders, between 80 and 100 entrants have been unable to come this time around and 75 per cent of these have had their entries rolled over to the March 2021 event.
"But a lot of people worked on their cars over lockdown and they're ready now, so they're coming."
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