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Christmas twist for fair

The Martinborough Fair has been revived with a Christmas theme.

The fair, usually held in March or February is now running in November. The fair usually attracts about 25,000 people to the town, with 526 food and craft stalls.

Fair convener Vivienne O’Reilly said the time of year called for a Christmas theme.

“The stallholders are having a competition, they’ll be dressing up their stalls in Christmas decor.

“Hopefully, some people might do some Christmas shopping.”

She said there were a lot of food stalls.

“Lots and lots of them. You could eat your way around the entire fair without buying anything crafty.”

The fair is an institution for the town and altered its schedule to fit around the covid restrictions. A fair was held in April this year, just in time for large gathering restrictions to be lifted.

The upcoming fair is required to sort its rubbish as part of a council mandate brought in this year.

“Other years we just put everything in rubbish bags that went to landfill,” O’Reilly said. “This year we’re sorting it into recycling and compost.

She said there was a keen team to help the event go smoothly.

“Our volunteers get up very early to set everything up.”

She hoped for a great atmosphere and good weather.

“It’s a good feel, very chilled out. We have so many stallholders who return year after year.

“The community benefits as well. The rotary doesn’t keep the net profit, it goes back into South Wairarapa.”

The team always make sure the area is spotless by the end of the day.

“The Kuranui hockey team do a micro-sweep, right at the end of the day. They do a marvellous job, making the area look pristine. You would not know that 25,000 people had been there a few hours earlier.”

The fair will go back to its usual schedule next year – the first Saturday of February and of March.

Saturday November 26, 8am till 4pm at Martinborough Square

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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