Mad Hatter visitors defy weather
Woodville’s second Mad Hatter’s Day was a great success, despite a drizzly weather start.
Over 500 passengers disembarked from the train organised by Feilding And District Steam Rail Society, the majority decked out in remarkable hats and ready to party.
Shuttled by bus into town the visitors soon sought cover in the shops and on Vogel Street, much to the delight of the businesses, who all reported excellent trade.
Vogel Street continued to be the focus for the first hour, the cafes and stalls doing a good trade with the Salvation Army band and Wharetiiti Kapahaka Roopu entertaining from across the street.
When the weather improved Fountaine Square stalls became busy, all the stalls reporting keen interest, the candy floss selling out by 2pm and Woodville Lions doing a roaring trade in sausages and raffles for their Suzuki bike — a Coast to Coast fundraiser.
Entertainment began after lunch by the rotunda, with different groups like Watch This Space Drama Group, the Go Bush Line Dancers and other groups entertaining a crowd settled under the trees until the best hat judging.
Winner of the adult section was the three-tiered creation by Ann Collings of Levin.
She and daughter Margaret Stewart of Marton were wearing similar designs.
Ariki Pharazyn won the Children’s section and the Salvation Army won best dressed window.
At 2.30pm the visitors left on the train heading back through the Manawatu¯ Gorge having experienced a good day out and many vowing to return next year.
Erina, Kiera, Keani and Kaleb Muller from Waipawa all had very creative hats.
Winner of the best adult hat Ann Collings of Levin with Mayor Tracey Collis and Joy Barnes of Ormond Street Motel, sponsor of the prize.
Locals Dot, Sadie and Kath got into the spirit.
The Jones Family from Feilding took time to see the Armistice display in the Pioneer Museum.
Red Hatters from Tu¯ rangi were there to party.
Go Bush Line Dancers entertained by the Rotunda.
The Watch This Space troupe entertained with the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Fountaine Square.