Whanganui Vintage Weekend 2023 leaves with a new sponsor

Whanganui Vintage Weekend Trust President Bruce Jellyman (right), already suitably dressed, helps Ritesh Verma with his old-fashioned coat. Ritesh and Property Brokers are the main sponsors of the annual Vintage Weekend. Photo / Paul Brooks

Whanganui Vintage Weekend is a highlight of the local calendar, with events filling all three days of Wellington’s Birthday weekend.

Next year the event as a whole will celebrate its 10th anniversary and the trust is delighted to welcome Property Brokers Whanganui as title sponsor.

Whanganui Vintage Weekend Trust Chairman Bruce Jellyman said listing with Property Brokers was a very big deal.

“When you think about the number of people who contribute to Vintage Weekend, it’s huge: the contribution from the community is huge. But, at the end of the day, we need money to put things on the ground,” says Bruce.

He says the volunteers put in a tremendous amount of time and energy, but would always need more sponsorship money.

“I can get a lot of ‘in-kind’ from the community because they’ve been hugely supportive of Vintage Weekend, but the dollars and cents still have to add up at the other end of the day.”

Realtors were ready to join us as sponsors for the 2022 event, but unfortunately it was canceled at the 11th hour.

“We greatly appreciate these guys getting into it.”

Ritesh Verma, Property Brokers Whanganui branch manager, says he and his team always enjoy being involved in the community.

“It’s probably the biggest party in town and we love a good party. It’s something we want to be a part of: the community gives to us and we want to give back. That’s what we do.”

Once again, many events and activities will focus on the river side of the city.

“We stuck with it, especially given how cool the buildings and spaces are in the lower town,” says Bruce.

“It’s exceptional, and probably the best way to celebrate it, remembering that Vintage Weekend is a celebration of Whanganui in the widest possible sense, underpinned by the ‘vintageness’ of the buildings and cars that we’re bringing, and the fact that some of us will dress in vintage clothes.”

He says it’s time to start scouring inventory at Ops stores to find something age-appropriate to wear.

“Vintage is really something old that has value, and we tend to say 30 years or more.”

This is a broad definition that allows a lot of leeway. Although …

“We can get by without stubs and we can get by without budgie smugglers on the street,” says Bruce. “That’s not necessarily what we’re going to do.”

Bruce says they’ll “turn on” Drews Ave on Saturday.

“It’s going to be more of a quirky space. It’s really to try to get markets through Drews Ave to the intersection of Ridgway St.

“The Avenue itself is going to be quite similar, but there will be these extra spaces on Saturday; it will continue until 10 a.m. and then hopefully people will move into the venues.”

“It’s part of our sponsorship,” says Ritesh. “If we can make this bigger and better for Whanganui, everyone wins. The Vintage Weekend Trust, the Caboodle, local people, local cafes, accommodation and the outskirts as well, everyone wins.

“I think it’s really important that we’ve been able to contribute to that and let Whanganui thrive. It’s our weekend.”

Bruce says the three days of Vintage Weekend bring in $3.9 million to the local economy.

Sunday will again feature the Shindig on the riverbank, but it will start earlier and there will be events and activities for children at the start of the program. The whole day revolves around people picnicking by the river while listening to live music.

“We’re ‘shopping’ the food and drink side there so you can buy picnic boxes…and there will be games for kids,” says Bruce.

Low picnic tables will be set up on the bank for Shindiggers to use.

“We just go with what the vibe is and what people are already doing.”

There will be other attractions like traction engine rides.

Tami Neilson will perform in the evening as part of a Vintage Weekend fundraiser.

“Tami was here seven or eight years ago and she played on the Ridgway Stage, which was the main stage at the time. It was just after she came to New Zealand from Canada.
So she’ll be here with her band on Sunday night.”

On Monday, Plumber Dan will lead the trolley derby up the hill from Queens Park.

“There’s a lot going on,” says Bruce.

“And we’re proud to be part of it,” says Ritesh. “We have 89 branches, so we can push that outside of Whanganui, in addition to what the trust is also doing.”

“There are a lot of benefits to this relationship, and public relations is definitely one of them,” says Bruce.

This is a Public Interest Journalism funded role through NZ On Air


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