Feilding Rural Day
Tits on tractors and yippee ki-yay! Feilding’s annual celebration of spring takes to the town’s streets this Friday. Rural Day invites city folk to the country town wearing their best rural duds – swannies, Driza-Bones, checked shirts, stetsons, coveralls, animal onesies and of course, gumboots.
Taking over the town centre, Rural Day is one big community hooley, centred around the clocktower and Feilding’s famous Farmers’ Market.
Traditional events such as the hotly contested Business Gumboot Relay involving teams of four who have to share one pair of gumboots as they dash through the sale yards and into the square, will vie for attention with new ‘attractions’ like the aforementioned tractor parade. Gumboots are at ‘high’ noon, with the parade at 1pm.
Feilding Promotion’s Raewyn Loader says the attractive tractors are Feilding’s equivalent of ‘boobs on bikes’ – in the best possible taste – it is a family day after all.
‘‘Another event only seen at Feilding’s Rural day is ‘Paint a Sheep’ – live sheep become an advertising canvas for local businesses.
‘‘And back by popular demand from last year is the sheep racing.’’
There are three events on the card at 10.30am, 11.15am and 1.30pm.
Rural Day starts at 9am with storytelling and music for children, followed by a free kids morning tea at 10am.
‘‘Our version of hunt the needle in the haystack is a fun event for under-fives and Feilding Art Centre will be helping older children to create a sock animal or character.
‘‘All sock creations will be displayed on a picket fence with prizes donated by The Warehouse.’’
Manawatu A&P Association has shearing demos and farm yard animals with invitations to feed the baby lambs; visit the three little pigs, the calves, lamas, alpacas, and baby chicks.
‘‘Joining us this year is Zippity Zoos mobile farm petting zoo where children can learn about animal care and be entertained by SonnyWool’s Rugby World Cup predictions.’’
Hester Guy is running ‘kids can cook’ demonstrations and youngsters are invited to test their rural knowledge with farm activities at the NZ AgriKids site. Rope and butter making demos are courtesy of the Coach House Museum, along with an old style ‘strongman’ fairground attraction involving a bell and a mallet.
Visitors can book a free sale yard tour through Feilding Promotion on 323 3318, while the Otiwhiti Station dog trials take place at 12.30pm
Sending the crowds away singing, Kiwi country music icons Eddie Low and Dennis Marsh perform at 2pm.
There’s simply no better way to end the spring school holidays.
A Rural Day hit last year, racing sheep with their soft toy jockeys return, running along Kimbolton Rd through Manchester Square on Friday.