The event was canceled, but the bands continued to play

It was far from freezing when two schools turned up the heating in Gore on Friday.

Despite the cancellation of the Freeze Ya’ Bits Off Busking school competitions, students from Balfour School and James Hargest College still performed.

Last week the event was canceled due to a number of schools withdrawing from the competition.

Gore District Council senior events co-ordinator Jessica Swan said it was great that the two schools still turned up.

“It was actually just a bit heartwarming. Spending months and months planning it and having to cancel the week of (the event) was quite disappointing to say the least. But to see two schools from out of town still coming in and showing up on the streets and doing their best – we were just so happy.”

The competition is one of the main events of the Bayleys Tussock Country music festival.

Mrs Swan and the district council’s events assistant, Megan Frampton, dressed up as ‘mock judges’ for the schools.

“(Balfour School) had put in so much effort that we decided we were going to give them the award anyway.”

They received a trophy and a certificate for first place.

James Hargest College then opened the busking final at the SBS St James Theater on Sunday.

They also received a trophy and certificate.

“It’s disappointing, but I feel like it still ended happily,” Ms Swan said.

“It shows that people really care about the competition… when you see that people are still showing up, it makes you feel like everything you did was worth it.”

Many other schools, including East Gore School, performed in the streets on Thursday.

“I think it’s great that they still tried their best and did something for the children.”

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