Feild­ing Ru­ral Day

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A Ru­ral Day hit last year, rac­ing sheep with their soft toy jock­eys re­turn, run­ning along Kim­bolton Rd through Manch­ester Square on Fri­day.

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