Forecast fine for March Hare rally

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Waimate will be humming _ literally _ this weekend.
Hundreds of motorbikes will be riding into town for the 30th March Hare Rally. The event, held on the first full weekend in March each year, takes place at the Waimate Showgrounds from today until Sunday.
March Hare Motorcycle Club of Waimate president Graeme Lane said pre-paid registrations were up on last year, when 1500 people took part. He hoped for an attendance of 2000 or 2500.
Anyone was welcome to turn up and register each day. The weather was usually a factor, with last year’s wet conditions a deterrent for those from Dunedin and Canterbury, Mr Lane said.
This year’s weather was forecast to be “real fine”.
Some bikers had been to each of the 29 previous rallies, he said. They came from all over New Zealand, and even from Scotland.
The showgrounds gates open at 9am today, but camping sites were available from yesterday afternoon for those who wanted to set up early.
Live music is being played from 8pm tonight by Cold Kranking Amps and Top Shelf.
A highlight of the weekend starts at 2pm tomorrow _ the Bike Show. After everyone has admired the machines, a prizegiving will be held at 4pm and someone will win the artwork that Bill Scott has been painting on-site.
A burn-out competition at 4.30pm is followed by tug-of-war at 5pm and horizontal bungy at 5.30pm. Cold Kranking Amps are back on stage from 6pm to 8pm, leading in to the Men’s and Ladies’ Tattoo Shows and Wet Tee and Wet Jock competitions.
Live music from Easy Hearts and Top Shelf rounds out the evening.
Mr Lane said the rally was good for Waimate, as the influx of people contributed to local businesses. A free shuttle service would ferry bikers between the town centre and the showgrounds throughout the weekend.
The police would be at the rally as it disbanded on Sunday, with the Booze Bus.
“They haven’t caught anyone in the last three years,” Mr Lane said.
There was a licensed bar at the event but participants were not allowed to take their own alcohol.
A breath tester was available for a gold coin donation and complimentary tea and coffee were provided.