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Wild hogs . . . Motorcycle enthusiasts get ready to let loose at last year's March Hare Rally in Waimate. PHOTO: SHANNON GILLIES

The smell of leather, oil and hot rubber will fill the air at the March Hare Motorcycle Rally this weekend.

The rally, held annually since 1986, starts today and will wrap up on Sunday at the Waimate A&P showgrounds.

March Hare club president Graeme Lane was optimistic the event would be a success.

There would be four bands providing entertainment throughout the event, and activities including a tug-of-war, a “dunny run” and a tyre toss would also be featured.

Although he was unsure how many people would turn up to the event, Mr Lane was confident the rally would attract a decent number of motorcycle fans.

In previous years, the rally has attracted 1800-2000 people.

About 20 volunteers have helped Mr Lane set up the event, and serious preparation started about a month ago.

“We’re only a small group,” he said.

“We all have our own jobs – we just get on and get it done.”

Setting up was easier each year because each team member knew what was required.

It was important for Mr Lane that people coming to the rally from out of town took extra care on the roads.

Ultimately, nice weather and a good turnout would be the key ingredients that would make this year’s event a success.

However, if the weather took a turn for the worst, the rally would not be cancelled.

“We run through rain, hail or snow,” he said.

In the past, some dedicated riders have come from as far as Australia and Scotland.

Mr Lane looked forward to seeing people show up and have a good time at the rally.

Without support from sponsors and the community, the rally would not be a success, he said.