Crowds flock to enjoy fair
Going by the very healthy number of patrons, the recent Eat, Drink and Be Crafty farm market day won’t be the last to grace the pastures of Battle Hill – and going by the possibly not-so-healthy number of German sausages consumed, there are sure to be more food stalls next time.
Thousands of folk descended on the Battle Hill Farm Forest Park on January 29 for a day of quality craft stall sifting, gumboot throwing and fresh air. Though there were fears a forecast cyclone would wash out the event, the rain stayed away until within a minute of the fair’s 4pm closure.
Co-organiser Melanie Maddock said she was ‘‘astounded’’ by the amount of people who attended the event.
‘‘I’m still recovering,’’ she joked. ‘‘It was a fantastic day, we’re totally happy with the level of success . . . We even got an encouraging letter from the mayor, which is really nice.’’
She said there had been a lot of positive feedback on the quality of the stalls, how there was a lot of stuff for families and kids. However, it was disappointing that some of the food stall-holders, including gourmet pizza and soft drinks sellers, didn’t show up.
Not that Brat Pack was likely to complain – its gourmet bratwurst sausages held a monopoly on revellers’ tastebuds.
‘‘Ah, mate, they were so busy,’’ said Ms Maddock, who was sure the no-shows would be ‘‘kicking themselves, big time’’.
Parking also provided its challenges during the busy late morning, and required patience from patrons.
‘‘There is quite a lot of parking, it’s just getting the cars through the gates and into the paddocks. The Lions [club] guys were absolute champions [directing motorists to parks] – they were flat out. And once a couple of cars started parking on the roadside, everyone did.’’
Eat, Drink and Be Crafty also raised several thousand dollars for Life Flight New Zealand.
Ms Maddock was confident the event would be on next summer, but under new management. Expecting her second child, her focus would be closer to home, while co-organiser Chloe Jansen was moving to Nelson.
‘‘There’s certainly others looking to take it forward,’’ she said.
Jump around: Who said sack races were just for kids? The men’s race was one of the highlights of the market day, says Melanie Maddock, ‘‘it was absolutely hilarious’’.