HASTINGS, New Zealand, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Hastings Blossom Parade, the biggest annual event of its kind in New Zealand, attracts tens of thousands of viewers and participants from all over the country to join in the Spring gala here on Saturday.
Tractors converted to steam trains, trucks decorated like a huge pumpkin or bee, dragon boats and sun pagoda, bands, marching teams, and even kids, toddlers and walkers dressed in special costumes descended on Hastings with the theme of "Transport to Delight" to enjoy the Spring sunshine.
Parade organizer Lyn Mackie said they would like the theme with a wide range of possibilities,
"Transport to Delight could be bikes, cars, trucks or even your feet. Or you could transport people to delight through something you have done, not necessarily through transport."
This is the very point Kevin Watkins would agree with.
Watkins, a 73-year-old Hastings district councilor, is always pleased to make floats by himself during the parade, especially Chinese-themed floats.
This year, he brought his Guilin Sun Pagoda float to attract viewers and finally won the prize of the best Blossom decorated float during the event.
"I built the float to promote the value of Hastings Guilin Sister Cities link since 1981," Watkins told Xinhua.
"It is my way of saying thank you for all the kindnesses I have received from Chinese people. The beauty of the culture with its precision and color captivated me and I have been honored to meet so many of them in person and who I consider life-long friends," Watkins added.
This is his 7th Chinese-themed float since 1998, which took him more than two weeks to finish. His tractor is decorated with flowers, a replica of the Sun Pagoda, a bamboo raft and Chinese lanterns, and three Chinese ladies and two children dressed in ethnic costumes were sitting on it.
Forty-four floats participated in this year's parade. Carnival rides and local and national performances took the stage all day during the weekend. As the organizer Lyn Mackie mentioned earlier to local media, the event has brought smiles to everyone.