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Open annual Charity Fishing Competition (Grand Hotel)
A ‘Day in the Domain’ See latest photos...
Run by the Piako Community Arts Council. In 1977 a very new Arts Council was looking for ideas to make a few funds and to show the flag for the Arts. It was noted that Hamilton had a very successful Left Bank Festival on the banks of the Waikato River and that Te Aroha had an equally good venue in the Domain for and arts and crafts festival. Invitations were given out to the Hamilton folk and locals were encouraged to bring their wares along.
The Brass Band, Pipe Band and one or two other groups were asked to provide entertainment for the day. As locals prayed for fine weather a most successful day was had by all and the Arts Council was now solidly on its feet. Domain Day has gone from strength to strength – from the original 30 stalls to sometimes more than double that number and is always reliant on the weather, with days where items were blown away, never to be seen again by the strong Te Aroha gales. Entertainment varies every year with outsiders invited to provide something that locals would not normally see as well as encouraging local talent.
We’ve had puppeteers, storytellers, ethnic dancers, singers of every kind and one year a whole army turned up (with flour bombs) looking for a fight! Some stallholders return year after year but it’s always the Arts Council folk and their band of willing helpers who turn out early in the morning that make Domain Day a success and showcase our beautiful town. Thanks to Judy Finn for historic info; if you wish to book a stall please contact i-SITE.
5 & 10KM Fun Run
Te Aroha Athletics Club. Annual race from Herries Park out to Waiorongomai for runners and walkers. coolrunning.co.nz
Breeders’ Stakes Day (Racing Te Aroha)
The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes is the feature race meeting of the year in Te Aroha. This $200,000 event is a ‘Fillies and Mares Weight for Age’ race, run over 1600 metres. With a Group One prestige rating, the race is the richest event on offer solely for fillies and mares in New Zealand. Experience premier thoroughbred racing at what is regarded as one of the most picturesque racetracks in the country.
Te Aroha Volunteer Fire Brigade Raft Race
Began in 2001 as a bold challenge from the Te Aroha Fire Brigade to the local Police, to a raft race down the Waihou River. The challenge was accepted and it was decided to open the race to the public. There were vessels of all sorts, sizes and shapes, with some of them looking less than river-worthy. The race began with rafters jostling for the best starting position and in the confusion many capsized. The plucky firemen jumped off their raft to help people back onto their vessels, while the speedy policemen made a clean getaway.
Rafters paddled from the Mace Rd Bridge to the Coulter Bridge in Te Aroha and were greeted with a cold blast from the fire hose at the finishing line!.
The race has become a popular annual event. Teams can be a minimum of 4 people to a maximum of 8 and all rafts are scrutinized before the race for hidden keels – (well, for safety actually). You must be 10 years or older and teams are encouraged to be creative. The challenge is not just to win but to stay afloat and make it across the finishing line! There is always a barbeque at the Fire Brigade after the race (and showers) where prizes are for first raft home, first kids and other spot prizes are awarded. Guaranteed fun for rafters and spectators alike!
Thanks to Sandy Barnes for info.
Family Festival EASTER SUNDAY
Mountain Apostolic Church. A free day in the Domain for the family to enjoy entertainment, music and laughter.
The ECHO Walking Festival (Enjoy Connecting Hills and Oceans)
About experiencing the fantastic walks that the southern Coromandel and Kaimai-Mamaku Ranges have to offer. People are encouraged to get out and explore these hidden gems with a programme of guided walks that showcase historic gold mining trails, stunning scenery and native flora and fauna.
To register for any of the walks, contact the information centres in Katikati, Paeroa, Te Aroha or Waihi. Check out www.echowalkfest.org.nz for programme details.
Town Clock Parade leaves the RSA travels up Lawrence Ave and along Kenrick St to the town clock where the memorial service is held. Schools and community groups participate.
Waihou Hall. Dust off your old family treasures, bring them along and have them appraised by invited experts. With specialists in jewellery, porcelain, paintings and clocks, there’s bound to be someone who can tell you about that beautiful old watch or Grandma’s teapot – and maybe even put a value on it. Plenty of art and curios also on display.
Duck Shooting Competition
Grand Tavern Hotel – sponsored by pub charities. First weekend in May. Competition starts 2pm, final weigh-in at 5pm. Entry $10. Entrants receive handle and free commemorative T-Shirt.
The Open Hunting and Fishing Competition
Grand Tavern Hotel; sponsored by pub charities, has been going for about 21 years. Open to the public, not just members. Bring home the heaviest pig, fish or deer and win part of the $10,000 prize pool. Kids are encouraged to enter (with not too much help from Dad) and they usually bring in an assortment of eels, rabbits, possums and deer. 2006 saw 80 odd entries with profits donated to Te Aroha Hospital, Fire Brigade and St Johns.
Dally Day’ (Racing Te Aroha)
Held at Te Aroha Racecourse in June of each year, the renowned ‘Dally Day’ has been a tradition for over 20 years. There’s nothing more spectacular than the sweeping view of the finish line, along the straight and up the mountain! Race day sponsors include many names of Dalmation origin (plus a few imposters!) and you can be sure of sufficient sponsors product to make the day go down a treat. Entry is Free, or purchase a ticket for the official Dally Day Function, which includes drinks and light lunch.
Dr Dunn Day (Boyd Park)
Annual clash between local rugby clubs COBRAS and Waihou RFC.
The very first Dr Dunn Memorial Trophy match was played at the Sports Domain in Te Aroha on the 9th of September 1950. Refereed by Charlie Dwight, this extract is from the Te Aroha News…Check out waihourugbyclub.co.nz for history and details.
Red Cross Book Fair
Goldfields Rugby Tournament (Boyd Park)
Annual tournament for Thames Valley’s featherweight intermediate boys.
Fire Brigade Monster Garage Sale (every SECOND year).
Plenty of bargains to be had at this garage sale.. Remember; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Donations can be collected.
St Marks Parish Fair
St Marks Church Hall. Crafts, preserves and home baking.
Mountain Lions Book Fair
Te Aroha AP & H Show (Boyd Park)
Annual Cycle Race
In 1991 the club purchased the pavilion from the Te Aroha Cricket Club for the price of $10,000. Half of it was paid at the time of purchase, but the remainder would be paid in 4 instalments – funds to be raised through raffles, donations, and a bike ride.
On 2nd November 1991 the club ran its inaugural 80km bike ride with a $10 entry fee. After a reported profit of $5,466 from the event, it was decided to make the ride an annual event!
In its heyday, the Wallis Cycles bike ride attracted in excess of 400 entrants who rode the 80km distance from Te Aroha to Matamata and back over various course routes.
Today, sponsored by Kaimai Cycles in Morrinsville, the annual bike ride is split into an 80km event and a 42km event and attracts between 200 and 250 entrants from as far afield as Whangarei in the north to Taumaranui in the south (as well as a good field of locals!)
The emphasis is on a fun, family event, and the entry fee is set at $20 for seniors and $10 for school age participants with spot prizes given out at the conclusion.
The course currently starts at the Te Aroha town clock, and heads out to Mace Road, Manawaru before taking in Waharoa, Matamata and Tower Road then circling back to Te Aroha. It is held on the first Saturday in November each year.
Bald Spur Derby and King & Queen of the Mountain
The Bald Spur Derby was started in 1959, initially being organized by two local businessmen – Reg Shanley (hairdresser) and Ken Hoffman (music shop). It was part of a carnival week that the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses organized each year.
The first race, won by Peter Goodfellow, received tremendous support from both rural and urban residents, and so the event was held again in 1960 (won by Paddy Curtin) and 1961 (won by Ernie Bygrave after being second in both 1959 and 1960).
In these early days many of the runners were local people and the race was to the Bald Spur and return. The race was started by the Mayor, Mr Henry Skidmore, and Whitaker Street was closed between Kenrick and Boundary streets with marshals controlling traffic at Boundary Street for the event. Business houses in Whitaker Street closed their doors when the race was on, and the street was lined several deep with spectators on both sides.
The Mayor presented the place-getters prizes which were vouchers redeemable at local businesses. Early winners recall being presented with a large cup together with a miniature to keep and free milk shakes were also given to the runners.
Over the years the event was run jointly by the Te Aroha Chamber of Commerce and the Te Aroha Athletic Club, and it was often timed to coincide with market days in the town.
In 1960 a relay event was introduced with M Johnstone’s name the first on the relay trophy. Typically, the relay event attracted teams from the local rugby clubs, the college, and teams from surrounding areas competing over the years. The teams consisted of three members, with two runners going up and one doing the down run. There was a magnificent trophy for the relay event and prizes from the businesses of the town.
In due course the Athletic Club was asked to take over the future running of the event and today it continues to be one of the athletic club’s annual fixtures.
As well as the Bald Spur Derby, a race to the top of the mountain is now run. This race, sponsored by Williams Hardware, is part of the NZ Mountain Running programme and attracts athletes from around New Zealand as well as from overseas. The relay race has not featured in recent years.
Originally the races started at the Town Clock and the road and shops were closed – later the athletes negotiated spectators, shoppers and traffic. Today the race starts in the Domain.
Christmas Draw Promotion (Whitaker St Te Aroha Business Association)
Shop in Te Aroha and WIN! There’s usually a trip to be won and Te Aroha dollars to spend. Just the ticket at Christmas time.
Please check the ‘What’s On in Te Aroha’ event calendar for more details of these terrific Te Aroha events.