Cavalcade monitoring fire risk

Riders on the Swanndri Omarama trail, near Omarama, in the 2011 Cavalcade. Photo by Stephen...
Riders on the Swanndri Omarama trail, near Omarama, in the 2011 Cavalcade. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Organisers of Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust's cavalcade are monitoring the fire risk but say the event will go ahead.

Next month's event will be the 21st year for the cavalcade which has only once before been cancelled because of fire risk.

Co-ordinator Terry Davis said there was a "level of concern" around the dryness and consequent fire risk before the recent heavy rain and, although that downpour had helped, organisers would still like more.

He said this year there would also be a 4WD ride for the "physically challenged" which was a first for the event.

People would stay at the Bannockburn School Camp and go on 4WD day trips, into areas such as Nevis and Bendigo.

There would also be a "heavy wagon trail" and Lester Rowntree, of Motueka, would bring a Cobb and Co style wagon on which people could book space.

He said there would be 13 trails in total, starting from various areas between February 18 and 21, and all ending in Cromwell on February 25.

Once in Cromwell, at "high noon" there would be a grand parade around the Cromwell racecourse which would be led by people who had ridden in all 20 cavalcades.

That afternoon there would be markets and entertainment followed by a hoedown at night.

The riding trails would take seven days and the walking trails four days.

People would stay "mostly in woolsheds, some community halls and some tenting".

He said numbers for each trail varied. One had only 12 spaces while others had up to 70 or 80, but they were all filling fast.


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