Helensville Lions Club has once again held its popular Running of the Roses. Held on the nearest Saturday to Valentine’s Day, several hundred numbered roses were cast into the Kaipara River on the outgoing tide.
Participants buy two roses – one to keep and one to enter in the race down the river. The first six to pass the finishing line won major prizes including: a Bay of Islands overnight cruise; a 43-inch television set; a cruise on the Kaipara to Dargaville; a balloon ride; one night’s luxury accommodation at Sky City, and a mobile phone account worth $750.
The day started with a charity Family Fun Run which attracted 88 participants who ran, walked or crawled from Springs Rd in Parakai to Mill Rd - a distance of 4.2 kilometres.
The Riverside Reserve near the Museum was transformed into a funfair-cum-market with a bouncy castle, children’s entertainment, sideshows and a variety of market stalls, live music, the Lions barbecue trailer, and other refreshments.
On the water, a waka regatta and other waterborne participants cheered on the roses, and the kayakers played sheepdog to keep the roses away from the mangroves, which thankfully was not much of a problem this year.
All in all a great family day out, and $5000 was donated by the Lions to the Helensville Medical Centre Ambulance Ramp Modification Fund.
Photo: Helensville Lions fish out the winning flowers.