The Oakura Beach Carnival has been thrown a lifeline.
The annual New Year's Day party looked to be over before it began when the New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Life Saving Club decided not to run it this January.
But a group of Oakura residents, including Sara Greensill-van Prehn, who organised the event for the club last year, are taking over.
The first plan of attack is to set up a charitable trust, she said.
Then she hopes to get other people involved and find some sponsorship. The event costs more than $25,000 to run, she said.
"We are hoping we will get some sponsorship and that the local community will get behind it. We are yet to pull that out of the hat, but where there's a will there's a way. Hopefully someone will see it as opportunity for naming rights."
Ms Greensill-van Prehn has the structure from last year and while she is a few months behind, she is confident they will achieve their goal.
"We know the idiosyncrasies of the day."
Last year was really about jazzing it up a bit, because the carnival had got a bit tired.
"We wanted to kick it back into gear, so we brought in (boy band) Titanium and different food stalls and did things a bit differently. We wanted to build on that again."
Ms Greensill-van Prehn was once a Little Miss Taranaki. The contest was not held this year and so many people commented that it is back on the agenda.
"Now all our kids are coming through and we want our kids to have the same experience. I can't imagine Oakura Beach on New Year's Day with nothing. That would be unheard of," she said.
Her fellow organiser Richard Shearer said if anyone wanted to contribute to the day by becoming trustees they'd like to hear from them.
And they want to hear from people who want help out and any vendors - food and entertainment - who would like to be involved.
They are working through entertainment options, and starting to discuss things with people from New Zealand's Got Talent and X Factor.
"We understand the position of the Old Boys Surf Club.
"At the end of the day it's about being able to return some funds to Old Boys who, not only Oakura people but Taranaki, value for keeping beaches safe.
"It's been an important source of funds for them in the past and we'd like to think we could help them in the future and perhaps other clubs and groups."
Anyone wanting to be involved can contact the group on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Miss Taranaki contest will not be returning to the carnival. Organiser Lois Finderup said it had been at the carnival for 15 years and was looking to revamp it and hold it in New Plymouth.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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