It's time to air those glamorous frocks and smart suits as Whanganui Vintage Weekend 2020 is fast approaching.

Event manager Heather Cox was getting in the mood with an original 1950s cotton dress and Wanganui Vintage Car Club chairman Bruce Ardell sported his trademark braces as organisers gathered for a group photo.

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"I bought this dress at a sale held at Lucky Bar last Vintage Weekend," Cox said.


"It had never been worn and still had the original tag on it."

Ardell said his attire was nothing special.

"I wear vintage every day so this is regular dress for me but I always bring out my best for Vintage Weekend."

The eighth annual Whanganui Vintage Weekend is scheduled to run from Friday, January 17, to Monday, January 20.

"The uptake to be part of the official programme has been tremendous and signals how important the event is to our community," Cox said.

She said organisers were excited to announce that the Billy Webb Challenge, traditionally held in December, would be part of Vintage Weekend next year, taking place on Sunday, January 19.

"The prestigious rowing event held in honour of Billy Webb's defence of his world title, earned on the Whanganui River in 1908, is a great fit with the vintage theme.

"Following the rowing, people can remain on the riverbank to enjoy the Riverside Shindig music event which will have a 1970s theme for 2020."


Cox said organisers had planned for a greater spread of crowd-drawing events across the three days to attract visitors to stay longer and encourage locals to stay in town.

Other regular features - the Mainstreet Caboodle, Whanganui Retro Market and the Vintage Fair - were all back on the programme.

"The Wanganui Vintage Car Club has events every day and Air Chathams has confirmed it will be back with scenic flights in their 1945 DC3."

A new vintage vehicle would be added to the mix next year, with Grand Hotel owner Neville Gorrie transporting guests in his newly-restored 1954 double-decker London bus.

Trust chairman Bruce Jellyman said Whanganui Vintage Weekend was a wonderful way to
celebrate Whanganui's river, heritage architecture and transport as well its many talented people.

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"Over the coming months, we will be rolling out details of the entertainment programme," Jellyman said.

"I can promise you, there will be lots of dancing and frivolity, so start planning your vintage outfits and inviting your friends and family to come and visit."

Event manager Heather Cox with a copy of the Whanganui Vintage Weekend 2020 programme. Photo / Bevan Conley
Event manager Heather Cox with a copy of the Whanganui Vintage Weekend 2020 programme. Photo / Bevan Conley

The first Whanganui Vintage Weekend was in 2012 as a supporting event for the
Vintage Car Club of New Zealand rally which was being held in Whanganui and attracted
more than 35,000 visitors over one week.

To see what is on the programme for 2020 visit or pick up a copy from Whanganui i-Site, cafes and supporting businesses.