More than 450 classic cars are expected to pull into Te Aroha to mark the 10th anniversary of the Aroha Cruise In.
It’s the biggest event on the town’s calendar and visitors from as far as Australia and all around the North Island arrive in town to see the vehicles of all ages, engine sizes and colours, assemble in one place.
Event co-ordinator Sarah Matafeo-Ross said online registrations for this year’s event, on October 7, suggested attendance would be up on previous years.
“We’ve had 60 online registrations so far which is good, it’s higher than normal. We would usually get about 30 to 35 people on pre-registrations so I think the increase shows people are going to really get in behind the 10th anniversary.”
As far as total number of visitors, it was thought the town swells to about 3000 during the event.
A big drawcard this year will be the return of Australian television personality “Fletch” from the programme, Classic Restos.
Fletch searches Australia and the world, from car shows to automotive museums, to reveal classic cars and their owners’ stories.
“Fletch does a lot of classic restoration, has a TV show which celebrates classic cars from yester-year.
“He was very popular at the two other Cruise In events that he has come along to, so it’s great to have him back for the 10th anniversary.”
Fletch was also going to report on the Classics Museum in Hamilton, which had been a sponsor for the Cruise In event as well.
Matafeo-Ross said the event would go ahead regardless of weather conditions.
“These are hardy people who come along and many of them tend to make a call on the day about attending. Last year it didn’t rain but previously it had. In any case we’ve found it hasn’t had an impact on the event.
“Last year we had about 450 vehicles and this year we’re picking it might come close to the 480 mark.”
The main street of Te Aroha will be closed so the cars can park up for people to view and quiz their owners.
The area in front of the Hannah Electrical store will be used to show motorbikes undercover.
This will be Matafeo-Ross’ fifth year organising the event and it will also be her last.
“The Te Aroha Business Association took over the event about five years ago and I was employed to run it.
“But I’ve got my own business now and a few other projects so it’s getting too much for one person. It will still be run by the business association, it’s our biggest event, but the association will be advertising for a new event co-ordinator soon.”
The business association was also about to release a 10th anniversary T-shirt to mark the event’s milestone.