Weekend on Wheels, Taree NSW


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Tony Northam from the Taree Rescue Squad is excited!

Last Sunday's Weekend on Wheels event was again a hit with the community and despite a lack of sleep over the last few days, Tony and his team are already looking to make the 2014 event bigger and better than ever.

DSC00417.jpgThe second annual Weekend on Wheels was enjoyed by close to 5000 people from both the Manning Valley and interstate, who all came out to see major displays by Team Army, car club, hot rods, drag cars, vintage bikes, cars, trucks, local businesses, drag boats, street machines and a motor rebuilding competition.

There was also a great food hall manned by Taree Scouts, jumping castles, McDonald Farm, live music and more.

"We made sure that we had something for everyone, so it turned into a great day out for all the family," said Tony.

The event has been the brainchild of Tony and the other members of the Taree Rescue Squad, who thought it was important for them to give back to the local community.

With the help of their major sponsors, Weekend on Wheels continues to grow and although it's a time consuming exercise, Tony said he and his colleagues just love putting it on and seeing the community enjoy themselves.

"More often than not we're seeing people in bad situations so this event is a great way to keep people aware of what we do, but to do it in a friendly, happy environment," he said.

Taree Rescue Squad began in 1975 and is the primary rescue unit for the Manning Valley, often being the first on the scene of accidents and rescue operations.

Every member is highly trained and the group uses high-tech, specialised equipment to assist where possible.

The money raised from events like Weekend on Wheels will go towards updating and maintaing their vital equipment, where possible.

To learn more or to enquire about becoming a member, head to the website www.tareerescuesquad.com


Three words repeatedly colour the conversation of Tony Northam - “over the moon”.

The words spill from the Taree Volunteer Rescue Association fundraising co-ordinator as he tries to describe the success of the Weekend On Wheels on Sunday, May 27.

“How can I say it? We were over the moon with everything, really everything,” Mr Northam said.

“We were over the moon with the numbers of people. We expected about 2000 people on the day but we got more than 3000.

“From around 10.15am we were inundated with people and they just didn’t stop coming all day, we were over the moon.

“Our event also broke a Shannon’s Super Rig Display Truck record. They clocked 1562 people through their truck, which is the second highest number in the State. Shannon’s was over the moon with the success of the event! They said we got more people through that truck than the V8 Supercars event - I found that hard to believe but Shannon’s count everything and the figures tell the story.

“They will be back to the event next year!”

The Shannon’s Super Big Rig Display also featured a Goggomobil Dart vehicle, the make that was made famous by Shannon’s successful insurance advertising campaign, and racing simulators that attracted the interest of adults and children, indeed 1562 people sat in the simulators and tapped into their inner racing driver.

The financial success of the event is still be finalised but it’s $8500 and rising. The event secured funds from general admission fees of $2 per person or $5 per family, vehicle and trade display entry fees, dyno machine useage fees and the motor rebuilding competition entry fees.

Mr Northam said he hoped the final figures will reveal a profit of around $10,000 for Taree Volunteer Rescue Association.

More than 300 sets of wheels filled the grounds next to Taree Leagues Club from 8am. Street machines, dragsters, hotrods, bikes, cars captured the eyes and imagination of the men, women and children who streamed into the grounds.

The atmosphere was relaxed and according to Mr Northam, six bands added an awesome sound to the event - Earnest and Young, Lucy and Gabbie, The Sick Lads, Kavit, Believe The Hype and Purple Sheep and a surprise 40-minute performance by 2004 Toyota Star Maker winner, Travis Collins.

The event also provided car and bike enthusiasts with an opportunity to display their vehicles and compete for one of 42 trophies which ranged in classifications from vintage, custom, utes, paint work, artworks and muscle.

There were 131 entries from up and down the coast with Dennis Berriman taking home a haul of six trophies. Mr Berriman travelled from Newcastle with his 2005 Harley Davidson and claimed the trophies of Best Custom, Best Bike, Best Rat, Best Display, Best USA and Best In Show.


View event photo gallery here.