150th Grand Parade!
It’s not every year that our community celebrates 150 years since the first family set up residence but this year is that year. The Grand Parade on Saturday the 25th of October is a major part of our Labour Weekend celebrations. It is an opportunity as a community to showcase the heritage and community of West Melton.
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We have a fantastic line up of entries in the parade, and we are privileged to have the New Zealand Army Band leading a diverse array of local entries. There will be traction engines rumbling along bellowing out grey smoke, vintage farm machinery, cars, tractors and motorbikes. Mixed into this will be horses, with and without carts and wagons, llamas and community groups showcasing their part of our growing community. It’s going to be a great day out for all.
The 1.4km parade route will start at the southern end of Iris Taylor Avenue in Preston Downs, heading north to Kirrin Lane/Preston Ave and then onto Weedons Ross Road to West Melton School.
The road in front of the school will be closed to traffic for the duration of the event, providing easy access to a lovely family picnic area directly across the road on the Gainsborough Reserve. So get your picnic hampers out, or just come along and choose from a variety of food stalls.
The New Zealand Army Band will not only lead the parade but will hold a concert during the afternoon. We have Joe Bennett as the MC for the day and, with close to 60 men around the district growing beards for the Beard Growing Competition, the judges will have a tough job. The results and presentation of prizes will be one of the main events following the parade on the Saturday afternoon.
Both the New Zealand Army Band and West Melton Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade will have some of their vehicles on display for the day as well as some interactive displays.
With horses being a huge part of life in West Melton, both in the past and still today, there will be a harness racing display in the Wharenui at West Melton School. Then there’s butter making, ladies spinning, games to play, a bouncy castle and a lolly scramble.
For those shoppers, there will be a great range of art and craft stalls. Buy a bottle or 2 of our locally grown Melton Estate wine, especially branded to celebrate 150 years. Great for Christmas presents as well. Unless they sell out prior, there will also be the famous West Melton tea towels for sale – but once they are gone there will be no more.
This will be another great day out for the family following on from the Time After Time Field Day in September.
Put it in your diary and we’ll see you there!
Where: Starting at the southern end of Iris Taylor Avenue, to Kirrin Lane/Preston Ave and down
Weedons Ross Road to West Melton School.