Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hawera's Push Bike Pub Crawl is going to be Giant this year

Hawera's controversial Push Bike Pub Crawl has gone full cycle with the South Taranaki District Council officially riding pillion for this year's event.

And as any good passenger would do, the council is pulling its weight by booking London-based Kiwi alternative rockers I Am Giant for a concert to coincide with the end of the December 17 ride.

For the last two years, Hawera police had tried to stop the event, which had grown from a ride attended by a few hundred locals to one pulling in thousands from around the country.

The event was regularly marred with boorish behaviour and drunkenness but police struggled to stop it, hindered by the fact it often had no official organiser.

Council's decision to come in on the act is acknowledgment the ride cannot be beaten and so must be joined.

I Am Giant were booked as headline act at the inaugural ALT Fest at the Hawera showgrounds after the council researched what sort of music pub crawlers would appreciate.

"We thought, if we were going to do this we're going to do it properly," council chief executive Craig Stevenson said.

It turns out council's economic and tourism manager Phil Waite had his finger on the pulse of what sort of rock band would fit the predominantly younger demographic.

"He did most of the work on pulling it together and researching it," Mr Stevenson said.

"Hopefully we'll get a really good crowd in there and bring a few people from out of the district."

To minimise how much ratepayers will have to pay, the ticket price has been set at $27.

People can bring their own alcohol into the R16 event but the amount and use will be controlled.

The pub crawl is an unofficial 30-year-old ride held on the Saturday before Christmas.

The rock-fest is the planned gathering after the ride in which riders cycle from Hawera to Normanby and back.

After police attempts to shut the bike ride down in recent years, the concept of a controlled gathering at the end is seen as a way to continue the ride.

Until next time keep rockin'
The 0800 Jukebox crew.

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