The 26th Variety Trillian Bash was flagged away from Levin Adventure Park on Saturday morning by Levin mayor, Brendan Duffy.
Mr Duffy recalled a previous year in which the Bash visited and donated bikes to disadvantaged kids, and the glow on their faces as they proudly pedalled to school on the sort of bike they’d only ever dreamed of owning.
Today ‘Bash’ teams painted faces, handed out goodies and explained about the Variety – the Children’s Charity mission to give disadvantaged kids a hand-up, as dressed-up characters circulated among the locals who’d gathered to wave the cavalcade off on a week-long fundraising mission that will end in Timaru on Friday, March 18.
The line-up of colourful vehicles took a winding route via the Paekakariki Hill to the Bluebridge Ferry terminal, where they entertained children from the Bluebridge-supported charity, the Child Cancer Foundation, before boarding the ferry.
That took time – the vehicles include a 17-metre-long fire engine with two separate sets of steering wheels – and two steersmen, a double-ended bus with roof-mounted propellers, and two stretch limos: needless to say, the tourists queuing for the same ferry had a day they won’t quickly forget.
The Variety Bash crews spend the night in Blenheim, and will travel to Portage on Sunday 13, then on to Nelson.