Carnival fans brave forecasts and get a glorious day

JENNA HOUGHTON
Last updated 05:00 06/01/2014

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Around 1000 people who flocked to Opunake for the town's annual carnival on Saturday were rewarded with sunshine after ignoring forecasts for heavy rain.

And after a day of rides, games, food, prizes, Mr Muscles, Miss Juniors and Miss Teens, it was Opunake's own Jenna Bellve, 16, who was crowned Miss Opunake.

Veteran competitor Meika Pulman from Hawera recorded her third consecutive win, this year the title of Miss 6-Year-Old, having previously dominated in the 4- and 5-year-old titles.

Her prize was an arts and crafts package donated by the community.

"We have fabulous prizes from local businesses who really support the carnival," Trish Anderson, from the Lakeside Lions, said.

The day was hosted by the women's Lakeside Lions and the Opunake Lions, and although crowd numbers were down from last year, they were happy.

"The turnout's excellent considering we had such a hideous downpour last night," Mrs Anderson said.

"The weather might have scared people away."

The day ran smoothly, though it was decided to move the Big Dig forward by two hours to prevent the high tide washing away the buried treasure.

Three children took home new bikes as prizes in the annual competition.

The rough sea had Opunake Surf Life Saving Club members out in force, with more than 20 volunteers patrolling in shifts.

"We haven't got a very nice beach this year. The guys will be on their toes," club chairman Mike Roach said.

The carnival is the club's main fundraiser for the year.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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