Beanies Central's essential headgear

Some places require specific clothing suited to the area's climate, terrain or activities.

Beaches call for jandals, farms for gumboots, work sites need steel caps, mountains need boots, and Central Otago?

The beanie.

That integral piece of Central Otago kit will be celebrated by the inaugural Bannie Beanie Awards this year, organisers say.

Event organiser Jan Hawkins, of Bannockburn, said the competition would provide a quirky addition to ''Across the bridge in Bannockburn'', held in early October.

''Why beanies? Beanies are, with good reason, a valued item of the Central Otago wardrobe.

"Their function is to provide warmth and protection from the elements.

"Their form is a statement of our individuality and personal style.

''Kids have them, farmers have them. People use them to show their creativity.''

From the flamboyant to the understated, beanies entered in the competition could be knitted, crotched, sewn, woven, felted or made using macrame.

The light-hearted event was designed as something that everyone could take part in, Mrs Hawkins said.

Several categories catered for children's designs, and others such as people's choice and most creative and craziest.

Entry forms were available from Sequoia Finewares in Old Cromwell, or Bannockburn Country House, and entries had to be submitted by September 21.

Running the competition added another, lighter, aspect to the Bannockburn celebration weekend, which was planned to help promote the town.

It was hoped that it would help people discover the town and increase visitor numbers, Mrs Hawkins said.

In its third year, the event had grown from a two-day to a four-day celebration of the town.

Other new events, including whisky-tasting, were planned.

Other activities such as an art exhibition, a guided tour of the Bannockburn sluicings, and others yet to be announced would also feature at the weekend.

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