Te Puke’s annual Christmas float parade will feature a racing car theme in memory of the town’s Formula One local legend Denny Hulme.
The Seeka Te Puke Float Parade and Multicultural Food Festival, on Saturday 2 December, marks the 50th year anniversary of Denny’s Hulme’s Formula One World Drivers’ Championship win in 1967. He is the only New Zealander to have achieved a win in this event. This year also marks the 25th year since Denny’s death in October 1992 aged 56.
Organised by Epic Te Puke, the event is sponsored by Seeka and Tauranga Energy Consumers’ Trust (TECT) and will run in conjunction with a multicultural food festival in the main street.
Epic’s Marketing Manager Rebecca Larsen encourages locals to enter the float parade or book a stall for the food festival.
“We’re hoping for a strong turnout of floats – last year’s combined parade and food festival was very successful – and with Denny Hulme our inspiration this year we are looking forward to some imaginative floats.’’
Epic Te Puke has sourced three of Denny’s cars to join the float parade – the MGTF which was Denny’s first sports car has been lent by Denny’s widow Greeta Hulme; the 1973 McLaren M23 Grand Prix car is on loan from Sir Colin Giltrap and Denny’s Minis is on loan from his sister Anita.
Denny Hulme (OBE) is cherished as a famous former resident of Te Puke. Denny attended both Pongakawa School and Te Puke High before he set out on his racing career. His grave is in the Te Puke Cemetery, Dudley Vercoe Drive.
Te Puke’s main street will be closed for the parade which starts at 11am sharp. The multicultural food festival will run from 10.30am until 1.30pm and a variety of cultural food options will be on offer from fundraising groups and food trucks.
Prizes for floats will be judged in three categories, based on the Formula One theme: AFFCO Rangiuru Community Organisations; Business Results Group Educator Sector and Zespri International Business and Commercial.
The Eastpak Supreme Theme Prize winner also takes home the Te Puke Jeweller Trophy. Prize giving will follow outside the Post Office at 12.30