A_HBT1436618.JPG BIG DAY: The duck race at last year's Waipawa Spring Festival. Photo/File

More than 1000 people are expected to descend on Waipawa to celebrate spring - and ducks - today.

The annual Waipawa Spring Festival, aka Duck Day, will have people from as far as Dannevirke and Napier come to enjoy stalls, entertainment and the famous duck race down the Waipawa River.

Organising committee member Alan White said they expected more children to attend this year's event due to being the last weekend of the school holidays.


"We are trying to entertain more children than usual, there will be a few more games than usual.

"There will be plenty of food and plenty of entertainment."

Each year they have around 30-40 stalls ranging between art and crafts, plants, food and nick nacks.

Today there will be about 35 stalls along the main street, which is pretty good considering the rainy weather that hit the region earlier in the week, he said.

"The weather's been a bit unkind but the weather forecast is quite good."

The ground at Nelly Jull Park had been quite wet but this was not going to cause any problems, Mr White said.

More than 1000 people are expected to come to the event to celebrate spring and raise money for a good cause.

"Our name is getting out there."

The Waipawa and District Lions Club will be fundraising for their new free ambulance vehicle, which cost about $40,000.

Waipawa School will be doing a barbecue to raise money for their camp too, he said.

There will be a bouncy castle too.

A total of 500 plastic ducks will be sent down Waipawa River for the end of the event and there will also be a competition for children who had made their own duck from any material to be judged by Central Hawke's Bay mayor Alex Walker.

"The kids are encouraged to make a duck, I've seen some interesting ones over the years," Mr White said.

All funds raised will go towards Ronald McDonald House in Wellington.

Retailers in Waipawa have been selling duck race tickets for $2 in the lead-up to the race.

The Waipawa Spring festival starts at 9am today with stalls along Waipawa's main street, and live music and entertainment in Nelly Jull Park from 10am.

There will be music in the bandstand from 10am-1pm and the duck race starts about 1.30pm.