Absolutely fantastic weekend of fun

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 09:19 26/11/2012
2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Days1-3
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2012 Burt Munro Challenge-Beach Racing at Oreti beach
Southland Times photo
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ Zoom
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.
Southland Times photo
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ Zoom
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.

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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.

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.

"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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- © Fairfax NZ News

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