Gold’n Notes Hoe­down marks 30 years

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

‘‘Each year it has got big­ger and big­ger with a record crowd of 800 at­tend­ing in 2014.’’

Thirty years ago, Cromwell coun­try mu­sic icon Ferg Mitchell started the hoe­downs - a coun­try mu­sic event that has grown to at­tract hun­dreds from around the coun­try.

Cromwell’s Gold’n Notes Hoe­down is on from Fri­day, Novem­ber 18 to Sunday, Novem­ber 20, with a full week­end of en­ter­tain­ment planned. There will be per­for­mances by Aus­tralian en­ter­tainer Don Costa, New Zealand en­ter­tainer Bri­anna Hed­ley, 12, of Gore who re­cently won the New Zealand Coun­try Mu­sic Ju­nior Over­all En­ter­tainer of the Year, and Nancy Muller.

Co-or­gan­iser Lynette Hedges said the hoe­down will start at 4pm Fri­day with two hours of black­board artists, fol­lowed at 7pm with four to five hours of black­board walk-ups. Satur­day’s en­ter­tain­ment starts at 10am, and around 2pm there will be a mini show­case of in­vited guests, fol­lowed by the ‘‘big show­case’’ on Satur­day night of top New Zealand tal­ent. The ac­tion starts again at 10am Sunday morn­ing.

‘‘It will be a full week­end of en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing a lit­tle bit of busk­ing in the busi­ness area and in the mall it­self on Fri­day and Satur­day morn­ing...We also en­cour­age peo­ple to get up on stage and per­form in front of crowds. Our au­di­ences vary from the young to the old. Th­ese peo­ple never see this type of en­ter­tain­ment in this area, due to travel and ex­pense to at­tend in the cities. So it is a priv­i­lege to get to see top artists at their back door.’’

The event be­gan in the Waitaki Val­ley’s closed down Hakataramea Ho­tel, then moved to the Otem­atata Ho­tel for three years, then Omarama for two years be­fore end­ing up in Cromwell, where since 2012 it has re­mained.

Mitchell said each year it got ‘‘big­ger and big­ger’’ with a record crowd of 800 peo­ple at­tend­ing in 2014.

‘‘Word of mouth has brought more and more mo­tor homes to it, and last year a record 180 mo­tor homers at­tended the event.’’

A larger mar­quee was re­quired this year to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple.

Com­mu­nity sup­port of the event was also strong, he said.

‘‘We have al­ways had the lo­cal Lions and sport­ing groups cater­ing...It is an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal groups to raise funds for their or­gan­i­sa­tions.’’

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Or­gan­is­ers and main spon­sor Mike and Lynette Hedges, with or­gan­iser and founder Ferg Mitchell.

Founder - Ferg Mitchell

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