Christmas at Races set to run

The population of Cromwell will get a significant boost tomorrow as the town hosts the annual Christmas at the Races event.

All hospitality tents have sold out for the event at the town’s racecourse but plenty of general admission tickets are still available.

Otago Racing Club general manager Noelle Prince said everything was looking good for the day.

Most importantly, the weather forecast was promising. Earlier in the week, it had looked a bit gloomy but sunshine was now forecast.

The Otago Racing Club has held the meeting in Cromwell for years and it has become popular for businesses from around Central Otago and further afield to hold Christmas functions at the meeting.

All 35 smaller hospitality sites — each for a maximum of 15 people — have been sold along with eight larger sites holding up to 50 people. Some of the hospitality sites used to be set inside the course on the home straight but Mrs Prince said health and safety requirements had led to them being moved to another part of the course.

The course was in an excellent state and there should be some quality racing, she said.

She expected to get a general admission crowd of between 3000-4000. General admission was $30.

The best-dressed fashion competition was different from normal. People could just take a photo of their outfit and send it into a social media address, where the outfit would be judged. There would not be a catwalk.

She hoped the format would bring in more entries as some people had previously not wanted to enter as they were not keen on striding the catwalk.

A DJ and a couple of other musical performers would add to the atmosphere. There would be ten races and some quality racing would be delivered.

The meeting would not be BYO. Laws had changed recently and only clubs which had three or fewer meetings a year could hold a BYO licence.