Hopes for sun at Kim­bolton gar­den fair

Manawatu Standard - - News - SAM KILMISTER

The fore­cast looks favourable for Kim­bolton’s big­gest day of the year as organisers pre­pare for the Cross Hills Gar­dens Coun­try Fair.

About 180 stall­hold­ers will at­tend the event with crowds of up to 5000 peo­ple ex­pected to make the trip to the renowned rhodo­den­dron gar­den on Satur­day.

Wet con­di­tions in the lead-up to last year’s event, and years be­fore that, have organisers pray­ing to the weather gods that the elu­sive Manawatu¯ sun­shine will grace Kim­bolton this week­end.

Their prayers may have been an­swered, with fore­casts pre­dict­ing rays of sun­shine paint­ing the Manawatu¯ coun­try­side this week­end, or­gan­iser An­gela Wil­son said.

‘‘I must have been a bad per­son in my past life be­cause we haven’t had much luck for the past nine years.’’

The event has grown from when it started with only 60 stalls nine years ago.

There’s usu­ally ev­ery­thing from gar­den tools to plants to hand­made prod­ucts and, with typ­i­cally 200 stalls, there’s not too much that won’t be there.

It’s quite a trans­for­ma­tion as what is usu­ally a va­cant pad­dock hosts stalls from all over the bot­tom of the North Is­land.

With more than 15 food stalls, the event is Kim­bolton’s big­gest day of the year.

The rhodo­den­dron gar­dens at Cross Hills have grown to en­com­pass more than seven hectares and 2000 va­ri­eties of the tree-sized shrubs - the colours rang­ing from translu­cent whites and creams, to yel­lows, mauves, or­anges, pinks and rich, deep reds.

There was even a maze for chil­dren to en­joy while par­ents browsed the stalls. Guests are given a map of the fair lay­out, gar­den and fa­cil­i­ties on en­try. The event costs adults $15 to en­ter.

Rice ris­sotto on the boil at the Cross Hills Coun­try Fair in 2016.

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