With sunny spells and a bit of cloud cover forecast, conditions could be just about perfect for the 148th annual Waipū Highland Games tomorrow.
The games, held at Caledonian Park, in Waipū, celebrate al things Scottish, but you don't need Celtic connections to have a great time, Pat Hadlee from the Waipū Highland Games organising committee said.
The MetService forecast is for tomorrow at Waipū to be partly cloudy, with a small chance of afternoon showers. Southwesterlies will develop in the afternoon and the temperature is expected to hit at least 25C.
Hadlee said there will be plenty of activities to keep the expected 5000-plus crowd entertained, with the usual piping and highland dancing competitions, along with athletics events and plenty of stalls.
One of the main attractions every year is the Highland Heavyweight competition, when the strongmen compete in a suite of traditional Highland events to find out the strongest.
The competitors will vie for points from traditional events: 22lb Highland Stone, tossing the 14lb Sheaf, 16lb Caledonian Hammer, 22lb Heavy Hammer, 28lb Weight for Distance, Tossing the Caber, 56lb Weight for Height (Gaelic Deadweight) and 56lb Weight for Distance.
But this year the blokes will have an overseas champion competitor to take them on - Susie Lajoie, the Canadian Highland Heavyweight Games female champion.
The host clan for the 2019 games is the McLeod's, which is appropriate given that the event's major sponsor is the McLeod's Brewery.
The games will start at 9am with the grand entry and street march of the massed band and pipers and Scottish Clans, and the heavyweight competition starting at 9.30am. At 3.30 pm there will also be a NZ record attempt in the 160lb Farmers Walk.
The New Year's Day games will be the 148th consecutive Highland event at Waipū and Hadlee said planning is already going into the 150th games in 2021, when it's hoped to hold several world championship events which will attract competitors from around the globe.