Next Monday is Tararua's big family day out - the Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club's meeting at Woodville.

Being held for the first time on Wellington Anniversary day, after the club lost its traditional New Year date, the committee is urging residents to support the event in a big way.

"It's a big family day and we need all the support we can get," racing club committee member Pat Shannon said. "Because of the change of date, this is all new to us, but we've plenty of activities for the kids and mum and dad can come along, enjoy themselves and their kids will be well catered for. It's a cheap family day out too, with lots of free activities for the kids, along with spot prizes."

Husband John Shannon said there aren't many events in Tararua which are a real family day out.


"Traditionally, at our New Year meeting, we've had families from Wellington and the Hawke's Bay meet at Woodville and it's been a great occasion. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to organise our great Kiwi sausage competition this year as three of our five butchers are unable to make it because it isn't in the normal holiday period.

"Like us, every small racing club in New Zealand is struggling and we need the people of Tararua to turn out in big numbers."

This year, the hat competition returns, with categories for posh and fun hats, as well as a children's section. Tararua District Mayor Roly Ellis' wife Phillipa will help Mrs Shannon judge the event.

Mr Ellis has now joined the racing club committee, but Mr Shannon said they are still looking for members. "We'd like to have people who want to see what's it's like on the other side of racing join us."

Last Sunday, committee members had their own big day out - a working bee at the Woodville course to get it ready for race day.

"The public don't realise what we do and everyone on the committee will be absolutely knackered at the end of race day. It's a huge effort," Mrs Shannon said.