Hordes of people were living life to the full at Whangamata's five-day 20th anniversary Beach Hop - but arguably none more so than Miranda Van Buren-Schelle.
At 32, Miranda has a diagnosis of terminal breast cancer, and the Whangamata motorsport enthusiast tired herself out catching up with old friends from her decade working for the event's main sponsor Repco.
"I was trying to be normal Miranda and I got to Friday and was like 'I'm not normal Miranda anymore'."
Early this year Miranda suffered a terrible back spasm and learned she had breast cancer that had spread to her bones.
At Repco Beach Hop, her former work family fundraised $15,000 which she'll spend on a bucket-list trip around the South Island "when I get to the point that the doctors say it's not looking good".
When the money was presented at Ford Reserve, aka Williamson Park Whangamata on Sunday, Miranda got emotional.
"I was in tears, it took my breath away. So many generous people that have been through a lot this year still willing to give."
Beyond a humbled thank you, she had one more message: "When I say I've got cancer, some people hug you and don't want to invite you somewhere because they think you mightn't be okay. I might say no, but it's the invite that counts."
Miranda joined thousands of Beach Hoppers for the festival that started with a Waihi East School Kapa Haka Roopu welcoming the Beach Hop cars as they arrived, and an Undie 500 race in Seddon St among festivities at the Warm Up.
A closed-roads party in Whitianga followed, and a Thundercruise that topped all other years for crowds on a stunner of a Friday at Onemana. The weekend hailed rock and roll dance, retro shows and car parades in Whangamata.
Entries were limited to 1280 classic cars, 100 retro caravans and motorbikes bringing the total to 1500.
Repco Beach Hop president Noddy Watts says the faultless weather at Onemana proved the power of sunshine, with record turnouts on this day.
He says all went smoothly except for some rubber left on the roads by a few unwelcome burnouts.
Five men were arrested for drunken and disorderly offences. One also had a warrant to arrest and was held in custody overnight. The others received formal warnings and were released after they had sobered up.
"It seemed to be a very well behaved crowd, and the feedback has been huge as there were a lot of first-timers," says Noddy.
A contestable government grant for domestic events impacted by Covid helped organisers get through the postponement.
Best dressed awards went to hoppers from around New Zealand but regulars in the awards line-up were Brian and Colleen Pascoe and John and Carol Harwood of the Takapau Rock n Rollers, whose daily outfits from Abba, gangsters, Coca Cola salesmen and naval officers turned heads.
The lucky prize winner of the 1965 Ford Mustang was Vanessa Aitken of Leigh.
A pink Cadillac 1956 Ford Thunderbird is on its way for the March 2021 giveaway with Noddy and the volunteer crew able to use the November planning documents for a 21st birthday Beach Hop from 24-28 March 2021.
- Miranda and hubby Brad have a Give A Little Page at givealittle.co.nz/cause/lets-help-miranda-beat-the-odds