The Tribune (NZ) - - WELCOME -

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.

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