A forecast for more than a week of fine weather mixed with all the help a small town can muster have become a boost for Wairoa as it stages the 122nd annual A and P Show this week.
It's a particularly important week, with the town having lost its parallel major event of the year, the annual races. They would have been held next month but have vanished in a major shakeup of horse racing nationwide.
But the horses are still coming to the show, with increased numbers for both the equestrian events and the rodeo.
Fine weather is all-but guaranteed, with no rain forecast for Wairoa in the next week, a contrast to last year when heavy rain resulted in the show's shearing championships being transferred to a woolshed about 40 minutes to the north.
A and P president Ian Denton said on Wednesday, while awaiting his run in the sheep dog trial which had been brought forward to avoid a clash with the national Tux Handy Dog finals in Taupo on Thursday-Saturday, the week started well with the annual working day-out to get the showgrounds ready.
So many turned out to help it became only a half-day-out. "It was the biggest turnout I've seen," he said.
Among the many volunteers has been wool fleece competition organiser Ross Buske, who this year bows-out after about 20 years gathering the entries and the wool.
While the sheep dog trial clash of events led to a 50 per cent decline in entries, and ultimately an event staged over just one day instead of two, equestrian entries have increased to include about 350 horses.
Entries for the local rodeo starting at 5pm on Friday and the Open rodeo on Saturday, carrying New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association points, have also soared, said local rodeo organiser Harmony Wallace.
It regularly attracts good numbers leading into the Upper Mohaka Rodeo on Sunday, at McVicar Rd, off State Highway 5 between Te Pohue and Te Haroto.
The rodeo comes a week after the Central Hawke's Bay farm-vehicle crash death of barrel-racer Samara Windle, for whom there was a tribute at last weekend's Mid Northern Rodeo in Northland, and Wallace expects a minute's silence to remember the rider and others who have passed in the last year.
Denton said the rodeo and the Wairoa A and P Show sheers are the major attractions. A Speedshear will be held on Friday starting at 7pm, and Golden Shears, New Zealand and former World champion Rowland Smith, of Maraekakaho, has confirmed he will be present to attempt to win the Open final for a 5th year in a row.
Saturday also features a range of people events, including both children's and adult rural Ironman contests, a Scarecrow competition and others.
The show is one of four A and P shows throughout New Zealand this weekend, and the 3rd of the four A and P shows in Hawke's Bay each summer, the Dannevirke show completing the circuit on February 4-6.