Wah­gun­yah’s fun-filled fair

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SI­MON GINNS

Wah­gun­yah Pri­mary School’s first fair was a fun-filled evening that didn’t cost fam­i­lies a small for­tune. It was ex­actly what the school’s Par­ent Group who or­gan­ised the event had wanted.

The at­mos­phere of the play­ground trans­formed in the hour following Fri­day’s last school bell. Un­der trees hung with colourful bunt­ing, chil­dren moved be­tween ac­tiv­i­ties with ex­cited pur­pose. For the next three hours fun was the new school rule.

More than 250 peo­ple of all ages en­joyed the 15 stalls and games on of­fer.

The an­i­mal farm, jump­ing cas­tles and face paint­ing were pop­u­lar with younger vis­i­tors. The stand-out win­ner for crowd en­ter­tain­ment was the wa­ter pump chal­lenge. See­ing some­one else get doused with a bucket of wa­ter is mag­i­cal and has uni­ver­sal ap­peal.

The idea of hav­ing a school fair be­gan al­most two years ago. Josh Reid, Wah­gun­yah Pri­mary School Prin­ci­pal, ex­plained how the event evolved.

“We used to do what we called cel­e­bra­tion night - it was re­ally low key. The par­ents would come along and have a look at what the kids did in their work and we had a bit of a book fair,” Mr Reid said.

“That was what the school did for many many years.

“Last year as part of cel­e­bra­tion night we got a jump­ing cas­tle and an an­i­mal farm, and that was re­ally suc­cess­ful.

“We had some great new fam­i­lies in the school that said ‘why don’t we do a fair like some of the other schools do?’”

Un­like many pub­lic events, the fair was not in­tended to be a fundraiser for the school.

“We are not here to try and make a ton of cash. We are here to try and give back to the com­mu­nity and get peo­ple into the school that may not have been here be­fore,” Mr Reid said.

“The Par­ent Group has tried to sub­sidise things so that peo­ple can come and have fun and not feel the pres­sure in the wal­let.”

Fi­nan­cial sup­port and do­na­tions by 12 lo­cal businesses made Fri­day’s event pos­si­ble.

Mr Reid be­lieves that the school fair will be­come an im­por­tant event in the town’s cal­en­dar. He also has a clear vi­sion for the role of the school in the com­mu­nity.

“In small towns the things that con­nect peo­ple are of­ten the pub and the school. I’d like to see the school as a real hub for the com­mu­nity. Some­thing that fam­i­lies, even if their kids don’t go here, feel com­fort­able with when they walk through the gates,” he said.

The wa­ter pump chal­lenge – each pump fills the bucket over the op­po­nent’s head. When the bucket is al­most full it over bal­ances and emp­ties onto the per­son below. If you stay dry you are the win­ner!

The kick­ing com­pe­ti­tion was di­vided into age groups. The ob­jec­tive was to land the ball in one of the bins on the full. Points are al­lo­cated based on the la­bel on the bin. The high­est points in each age group wins.

The ever-pop­u­lar face paint­ing.

The an­i­mal farm’s ban­tum rooster was hard to catch but liked to be pat­ted if you were fast enough.

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