Absolutely fantastic weekend of fun

20:33, Nov 25 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade
LEFT: Kate Crowe, 4, and Sarah Crowe, 2 with Madison Duncan, 14, on the Diabetes Youth Southland float ready for the Southland Santa Parade. RIGHT: Clowns ready for action ahead of the parade.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
John Marron, 11, and Wilson Ludlow, 10, at the parade.
Santa and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt
BESTIES: Santa and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt are ready for the Southland Santa Parade today
2012 Southland Santa Parade
Asya Schmidt at the Southland Santa Parade.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
From left, Irene Fwler, 6, Siahn Nilsen, 6, and Avthokea Fowler, 9, enjoy the parade.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
Kane Hannagan, 8, Mel Canning, Jacob Hannagan, 7, and Lisa Nicoll.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
Santa, the star of the show, rocks up on the final float.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
A float in the 2012 Southland Santa parade.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
A float in the 2012 Southland Santa parade.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
The 2012 Southland Santa Parade.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
Southland Santa Parade 2012
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.
2012 Southland Santa Parade
2012 Southland Santa Parade in Invercargill on Saturday.

A line-up of exciting events in Invercargill brought thousands to the south during the weekend.

Hundreds of motorbikes cruised into the city from throughout the country, and further afield, for the annual Burt Munro Challenge.

The challenge started on Wednesday with the New Zealand longtrack championships and grand prix before finishing yesterday with the Wyndham street races, and the weather gods smiled on the event.

2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1
2012 Burt Munro Challenge:Day1-NZ Longtrack Champs and Grand Prix
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach

Other motorbike events included the New Zealand hill climbing championships, the New Zealand beach racing championships, the Teretonga Sprint Races and Motorcycle speedway.

Thousands of people also crowded the streets of Invercargill on Saturday to watch the annual Southland Santa Parade, which included 63 groups from a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory float to Po the Kung Fu Panda and gymnasts.

Mayor Tim Shadbolt said it had been an absolutely fantastic weekend for Invercargill, with early estimates indicating record numbers of riders and spectators had attended the Burt Munro Challenge.

Southland Times photo
Invercargill MP Eric Roy (left) and mayor Tim Shadbolt in the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
Ruth Clark and Corky, part of the Riding for the Disabled entry in the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
The Southland BMX Club at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
From left, Molly Haywood, 12, Millie Robert, 10, Brittany Harris, 12, and Georgia Buchanan, 4, on the ILT Seal float at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
Glenys Kempton in the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
The James Hargest Community Childcare float in the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
From left, Lily Duncan, 7, Cormac Marron, 6, and Patrick Marron, 9, on the Diabetes Youth Southland float at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
Flintstones Sam Kempton, 11 on left, and Mitchell Kempton, 13, Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
Clowns, from left, Rowena Owens, 16, and Lauren Dempsey, 16, at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
Clowns at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
Asya Schmidt, 18, in the Bluff Oyster boat at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.
Southland Times photo
From left, Tinelle Rigby, 11, Kristi Kerr, 10, Sapphire Ruston, 11, and Tegan Ruston, 12, on the Polonesian Navigators float at the Southland Santa Parade 2012.

"The Santa Parade was another huge success. People just want to be positive at the moment and there's nothing more positive than a Santa Parade," he said.

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Southland Times photo
BURT MUNRO CHALLENGE: Visiting Australian sidecar rider Josh Wells, left, who is originally from Southland, and swinger Lance Tulloch check out the Burt Munro Challenge statue at Queens Park.
Southland Times photo
BURT MUNRO FANS: Invercargill friends, from left, Bruce McCormack, Tony Burenshaw and Dave McDonald relax at Oreti Park after travelling a ‘‘wee way’’ to be part of the Burt Munro Challenge. The trio have for the past seven years used the challenge as an excuse to take a break from their Invercargill homes.

The Southland Times