Hot time in the city

Last updated 05:00 03/03/2014
Americarna 2014
Americarna 2014: This Ford Mustang suffered front end damage after rear-ending another vehicle on the first day run to Whangamomona via the Forgotten World Highway.
Americarna day two
Gridlock in Waitara never looked so good.
Americarna Devon St cruise
Devon St cruise
Americarnival and the Magog
AMERICARNIVAL: New Plymouth was packed this weekend with both Americarnival and the Magog 40th birthday celebration on Saturday. 

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Taranaki's double banger weekend party appears to have gone off without a hitch.

On Friday, the sound of a polite gabble of shoppers and after-work drinkers in central New Plymouth was shattered by the metallic roar of hundreds of Americarna participants' throbbing engines which slowly made their way down the main drag.

And after dark on Saturday night, crowds of partygoers celebrated the Magog motorcycle gang's 40th birthday at Peggy Gordon's with tunes by rock bands Devilskin, Bullfrog Rata, Sticky Filth and The Nod.

According to event organisers, there was seldom a figurative hiccup to be heard.

"Everything went as planned - how we planned it that is," Magog president Russell "Shagger" Gilmer said.

"It was great night, everyone enjoyed themselves, there was a good crowd and the bands were all happy."

Though they had opposed the party being held, New Plymouth police confirmed there were no major incidents in relation to Saturday night's party.

Americarna organiser John Rae was full of praise about the success of his event, saying Saturday's carnival increased community involvement.

"I doubt there has been an event that has drawn so many people into the centre of town. It exceeded all of my expectations.

"Apart from sleep deprivation it's been absolutely great."

Americarna participant Perry Skinner of Ohau agreed.

"Good cruising and the people up this way are grooving," he said, leaning on his '65 Impala.

On Saturday, thousands of people were entertained with carnival rides, live music, gleaming cars and a market selling everything a car lover might need. "There were a lot of shopkeepers who were very, very happy on Saturday," Mr Rae said.

However there were issues that needed to be fixed if the event was to return to town.

The roadworks in Molesworth St held up the Friday night street cruise and caused gridlock.

He had also been told that many visitors to the carnival on Saturday had been slapped with a parking ticket.

If the event received more funding he hoped people could park at the raceway in the future and take a free bus into town.

That would stop the problem of the council issuing parking tickets to the public, he said.

It's estimated Americarna 2014, featuring about 500 American cars over five days, will inject $3 million into the region's economy.

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- Taranaki Daily News


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