Beach Hop declared as NZ's favourite event of the year 12 October 2017 Photo: Beach Hop committee members (from left to right) Debbie Crofskey, Marie Bunyan, Noddy (Graeme) Watts and Gill Churstain. Congratulations to Repco Beach Hop who were declared New Zealand's favourite event of the year at the New Zealand Event Association's (NZEA) glittering awards ceremony held at Sky City in Auckland last night. NZEA stated that not only did this year’s awards submissions cover the country from Cape Reinga to Bluff, but the introduction of new categories and an exceptionally high standard of entrants made the work of the judges difficult. "The awards celebrate boundaries pushed, benchmarks set and innovations achieved in hosting events countrywide," says NZEA Chair Andy Scotland. "It's fantastic to be recognised at this level," says Beach Hop Chair, Noddy Watts (pictured right). "We were up against some pretty major events and it is a huge honour to take the big award of the night." "We've always believed in our hearts that we were a big part of events in NZ. Having this formally recognised is a celebration for all involved," says Mr Watts. Beach Hop has been going from strength to strength, based in Whangamata held annually in March, it attracts about 100,000 people over the course of the five-day event, generating more than $7M for the local economy. Beach Hop is a nostalgia festival celebrating the '50s and '60s with a turbo-charged dose of classic cars. It's free to attend and classic car owners pay a fee to include their vehicle in the car shows, parade and cruises. "Thanks to the team, sponsors, volunteers and the entire Whangamata community, they really make this happen" says Mr Watts. Since it began in 2001, the Beach Hop has raised more than $500,000 for local emergency services. With the influx of visitors every year, community groups have been able to fundraise tens of thousands of dollars. "I love the Beach Hop," says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. "It's a fantastic event that ticks every box and this is a well deserved win for the Beach Hop crew." “Events make a significant contribution to the economy, enhance New Zealand’s cultural status and provide locals and visitors alike with the opportunity to expand horizons and enjoy themselves,” says Ms Scotland. “I’d like to congratulate the winners on their achievement, having emerged from a stronger field than ever to demonstrate excellence and the world class standards that local events are achieving.” Click here to read more about the awards evening. See www.tcdc.govt.nz/ourcoromag2017-18 to read more about Beach Hop in Our Coromandel magazine or you can pick up a free copy from our Council offices and District libraries.