The future of Oakura's popular New Year's Day beach carnival is in jeopardy, with the 2014 event unlikely to go ahead.
The annual carnival has been going for more than 40 years, but organiser, the New Plymouth Old Boys' Surf Life Saving Club, has decided not to run the event next year.
The carnival, which features the Miss Taranaki pageant, attracts thousands to the beach every year.
NPOB chairwoman Nicky Spicer said there were several reasons for the decision, including the large amount of manpower needed to hold the event.
"We have to look at what is a priority for the club and what is our core business and as a club it's not going to work for us this year," she said.
"It's not a decision we took lightly. It was something we thought long and hard about and we consulted with a number of club members."
She has received a lot of feedback from club members who have been very supportive of the decision.
The club may look at holding something "very low key" on the day.
"But we haven't actually discussed what that is going to be or if we are able to do anything at all."
The club doesn't own the rights to the event and if someone wants to run the carnival, Mrs Spicer said she wished them luck. "I know how much work is involved. I have been involved with it for the last four or five years. It's not just a matter of turning up on the day. It takes a lot of our club members' time and energy."
Oakura resident Don Harvey is calling for the Oakura community to pull together to keep the carnival afloat.
"The carnival's been going for more than 30 years, through storms and the like. You only need to go down to Oakura School to see the enthusiasm and passion that's around," he said.
"There's a lot of people here who in times like this would come and help run this event.
"It would be a blow if it didn't continue, it would certainly be wonderful to keep it going."
He hoped local people would bring fresh ideas to the club to keep the tradition alive.
Kaitake Community Board member Doug Hislop said he found out about the decision only on Saturday.
"I know folks will be disappointed it's not going ahead, not just out here but Taranaki-wide. It has the Miss Taranaki contest, a whole range of activities that draws the crowd.
"It's an iconic event."
As people find out about it in the next few days, there'll be some discussion, he said, but there are a lot of other fundraising activities in Oakura that take up people's time.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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