Kaponga goes all out American
Kaponga became the 51st state of America for a couple of hours on Friday night as the town celebrated Independence Day.
American flags were flying as more than 60 vehicles, from monstrous trucks to a little beach buggy, vintage cars, big American cars, tractors and a fire engine, did three laps around the block in the centre of the town.
Later $6000 worth of fireworks rounded out the night.
More than 500 people rugged up, ate American hotdogs, red velvet cup cakes and enjoyed a typical Kiwi sausage sizzle, while listening to music from the 1950s and 60s.
Elizabeth Maindonald, 4, liked the fire engine the best. Her dad, Lindsay, was dressed for the occasion in a leather jacket covered in the stars and stripes and a cowboy hat. While mum Anita kept warm in an American cap.
"Eltham people reckon I've got American blood in my veins. I've always wanted to live there," Lindsay Maindonald said. "I think it's really great to have a thing like this in Kaponga."
Hamish Hiestand, with sons Ryan, 10 and Cameron, 8, rode past in their American hot rod truck.
Hiestand spent four years building the 1950 XR8 Boss. He had a couple of trucks but they were stuffed, he said.
"All I used was a cab and carbs and a chassis."
It was the second year an Independence Day parade was held in Kaponga, organiser Jody Wards said.
"It was nice to give something to the community for free."
Vehicles in the parade didn't have to be American, the brief was anything and everything.
Kaponga Hotel owner Cathy Franich made it happen, Wards said, along with a number of other sponsors, including Coastal Vets and Riverla Construction.
Taranaki Daily News