It's usually a time for fancy frocks, bubbles and over-the-top hats, but today's Interislander Summer Festival New Year's Day Races is all about celebrating family.

General Manager of Hawke's Bay racing Andrew Castles said on a good day, between 5000 and 6000 people show up to the Hawke's Bay Racing Centre to enjoy a memorable day out.

From general admission to a private marquee set-up, it was a unique and family-focused day for those who would be coming along, Castles said.

With general admission being $15 and under-18s entering for free, families were able to make the most of the fun-filled activities such as live music and the races.


Castles said while there would be plenty for everyone to do, attendees would also be able to make the most of local food and beverages.

"This is a day that's part of the Interislander Summer Festival and there's a lot of race meetings around the country at this time of year. There's plenty for the kids to do too.

"After race one there's a sack race and after race two there's a tug of war and after race three there's a three-legged race, then there's a kids sprint. It's just a wonderful opportunity for the family to have a great day out at an inexpensive cost where there's plenty of entertainment throughout the day."

A punters club will also be operating on the day for the enthusiasts to share in the racing action.

The gates for the New Year's Day races open for the general public at 10.30am.

The New Year's Race Day is one of many events which will attract thousands of people to the Hawke's Bay Racing Club.

On January 30, enthusiastic racing fans will get the chance to come along to Bostock New Zealand Raceday.

The Gate will open to the public with free admission with plenty of local food and beverages throughout the day.


The Little Avondale Lowland Stakes Twilight Raceday will also take place in late February and is described as 'showcasing thoroughbred racing action at its best.'

For more information on upcoming events go to