1. FOXTON FUN
The Foxton Easter Fair turns 25 on Sunday. The town’s Easton Park becomes a long weekend market mecca with stalls, music and other entertainment.
Andrew London and the Lucky Break Band will be there from Kapiti. So will Ron Pledger’s X7s Dance Band from Wellington. As will some 200 stall-holders and purveyors of tastebud-tempting comestibles.
Easter Sunday is the annual Foxton Fair’s 25th anniversary and Foxton Promotions Group’s Val Hayes says as well as the usual festive Foxton vibe, to watch out for the baskets of specially wrapped 25th anniversary Easter Fair sweet treats.
The event takes over the whole town, with attractions such as the horse-drawn tram, the De Molen Dutch windmill, the museum and cafes all doing a brisk trade as fair-goers spill out into the streets.
The fair was started in 1990 by a group of local business people, and set out on ‘The Green’, where De Molen now stands. Initially it was to provide activities and focus for visitors – especially members of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) who held an Easter Rally in Foxton.
Interestingly, the NZMCA are holding their 60th national rally just down the road in Levin, and members are bound to pay the fair a visit.
According to the Promotion Group’s Bill Bodell, the successful enterprise was repeated on The Green for a couple of years before spreading out along Wharf St, and then into Foxton’s Main St.
‘‘The fair rapidly outgrew that area, and it was moved across to Easton Park. That turned out to be the best thing [the organisers] could have done, and we are now in our 25th year.
‘‘Two years ago, we decided to increase the width of the walkway around the park from five metres to eight metres to allow people more time to stop and spend time at the various stalls.’’
Coinciding with the Manawatu Boating Club’s Easter fishing tournament at Foxton Beach, between 12 – 15,000 people now frequent the fair.
All proceeds are gifted back to worthy local causes and organisations, with over $200,000 distributed within the community.
Val and Bill are assisted by members of the local volunteer fire brigade, Te Awahou Lions, local college students, cubs and scouts, along with other Horowhenua groups and volunteers. Entry to the fair is $2 each with pre-schoolers free, while parking around the town is also free.
The evergreen Ray Woolf entertains during last year’s Foxton Easter Fair. This year, Andrew London and Roy Pledger are the 25th anniversary musical guest acts.
Enjoying last year’s Foxton Fair are NiyahLea Henare, 2, Ivy-Rose Henare, 3, and Darius Pearson.