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(L) All in a row...These large beasts wait to take delighted participants in Hug a Rig day for a ride. PHOTO: SUPPLIED (R)All Aboard... Taking a ride in a big rig is Dave Turnbull with his son Ryan Turnbull (5). PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The sunshine and rigs were aplenty at the 10th anniversary annual Hug a Rig day held in Gore.

Hot rods and big rigs rumbled along from the start of the event from Hokonui Rural Transport (HRT) through Main St along Hokonui Dr, and past Dolamore Park before returning to Hokonui Rural Transport.

Organisers say the day was a huge success.

Organiser Dianne Estob said more than 35 trucks and 12 cars turned up for the day to give more than 88 people with special needs and people with certain medical conditions a ride in a big rig or hot rod.

“It’s seeing the people, what they get out of it, what the community gets out of it, what the drivers get out of it – it’s a great all-round, feel-good day. The smiles, the thank-yous we receive warms your heart. It’s a huge event for a lot of these people; it’s like Christmas for them.” Mrs Estob said.

Many drivers give their time to wash and polish their trucks and cars to take the excited young, and not so young, people on their ride of the year.

With participants filing in the gate as soon as they were opened at noon, the HRT Team were kept busy cooking delicious burgers and sausages right through until the end of the day.

“More than 300 people were fed. They do an amazing job, a great asset to the day,” Mrs Estob said of the helpers.

The purpose of the day was to give special needs people an opportunity to ride in a big rig or hot rod and give them the experience that they would not normally have, she said.

It was exhilarating for those taking part and organisers could tell by the smiles they were really enjoying the experience, which they looked forward to every year.

It was a date on the calendar not to be missed, and such a great community event, she said.

It’s a great all-round, feel-good day. The smiles, the thank- yous we receive warms your heart. It’s a huge event for a lot of these people; it’s like Christmas for them.