Crowds flock to en­joy fair

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

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.

Photo: ANNE FISHER

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’’.

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