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Big Fat Gypsy Wedding sews up sixth win in row

Creative talent and three months of hard graft by a dedicated group of local women and their husbands saw the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding float scoop the awards in Raglan’s traditionally offbeat New Year’s Eve Parade.

It was the Motor Neurone Support group’s sixth win in as many years and chief seamstress Rosalie Trolove ensured it had the “wow” factor.
With bride, bridesmaids and flower girls dressed in brilliant fuschia pink and white, the Gypsy Wedding was an obvious crowd-pleaser and judges awarded it first prize in all three categories — community, sustainability and education and safety — before the parade’s 7pm start up Bow Street.

Rosalie admits her group expected “stiffer competition” this time around with the all-new categories but obviously rain during the day had put some would-be entrants off the parade, which has been run now by Raglan Lions Club for 40 years.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has local Helen Palmer at its helm as both national president and Waikato branch chairperson and another local, MND sufferer Alice Robertson, as branch secretary.

The group of loyal supporters — who’ve also been involved in Hamilton’s Round the Bridges fun run to publicise motor neurone disease — say it was a bonus to take the parade’s $750 first prize winnings because, apart from their combined effort in decorating, this year’s float had cost them about $160 in fabric for the flamboyant wedding outfits.

Usually, says Rosalie, the group of former nurses and nurse-aides from Raglan Trust Hospital, who call on their grandchildren to boost float numbers, use whatever they have a lot of — like the white net curtains left over from their Swan Lake Recycled theme one year which then became the basis of another winning entry, Winter Wonderland.

The group’s other winning themes over the years have been Clowning Around, Flower Power and Party Girls. The retired women and their husbands have all come into close contact with MND.
Judges of the latest float competition also awarded a special prize and prizes to those on a bike or anything on two wheels, which saw a colourful madcap collection of more zany entrants cycling up and down the street and performing to an appreciative audience.

Edith Symes

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