We have seen a lot of different events that feature throwing things (oranges, tomatoes, mobile phones…), but the folks over in Taihape, New Zealand, have taken it to a whole new level – Gumboot Throwing.
Taihape has always been a small rural town, but it struggled in the 1960s – 1980s after the government removed subsidies for agriculture, resulting in almost half of the population moving away (from 3500 in 1960 to 1800 in 1985). The downsizing of the railroads also did little to help the situation and the fine folks of Taihape had to put their heads together to find a way to attract more visitors to their country town to help keep it alive.
Utilizing the fact that the town is situated next to State Highway One the folks set about creating an event that would attract travelers in on the busiest traffic day of the year. Inspired by comedian John Clarke’s popular “Gumboot Song”, Gumboot Day was born in 1985 and has been running since. While there are a host of different activities going on, the main attraction is the Gumboot Throwing Competition where contestants are put up against each other to see who can throw their boot the furthest.
Gumboot Day is fun for the whole family and has up to $7,000 worth of prizes to giveaway! Gumboot Throwing not your thing? Other events you can look forward to during the day include the Dog Barking Competition, Lawnmower Racing, a Bakeoff challenge where you have to make a Gumboot Themed Cake, Fred Dagg (the fictional satirist played by John Clarke) Lookalike Contest, Decorate a Gumboot Contest, the Bulls Free Concert and more!
For more information about the festival and the “Gumboot Capital of the World”, check out the Official Website:
When: March 9th, 2013
Where: Taihape, New Zealand
Have you been to Gumboot Day? If so, share your stories with us!