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Fair attracts huge 40,000

About 40,000 people attended the Martinborough Fair on Saturday. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

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A crowd of 40,000 descended on Martinborough on Saturday for the second Martinborough Fair of the year.

South Wairarapa Rotary Club has been running the event for 44 years and estimated nearly $100,000 had been raised this year which would go towards local charities.

Saturday’s crowd was said to have been an even bigger success than February’s fair.

There was a range of new initiatives at this year’s fairs, overseen by conveners Helen Sargent and Anne Atkinson, including the recycling rubbish programme, a reconfiguration of the memorial square to improve stall holder layout, and people-flow, plus brand-new entertainment.

Sargent said the reconfiguration of the 180 stalls in the square was “a hit” with the crowd and vendors.

“The change not only assisted with the flow of the crowd but also made it easier for people cover each and every site.”

For Saturday’s fair, the fun rides were back and were a hit with the crowds, Sargent said.

The rides were unable to be at February’s event because the original site now had a new playground, but a new site was found for Saturday’s event.

She said the crowds also lasted longer because it was a bit cooler than February’s fair.

She said the fair was a massive event for the community, and after 44 years, Rotary was still always looking for things they could do to make the event run better.

“It’s a really well-organised event.

“We’ve nailed it now.”

Over the years, the fair has grown to be one of the largest fairs in New Zealand.

She said vendors loved coming to the event and had it down in their calendars as the one to get to.

She said in the first half of October, they received about 450 vendor applications.

“It’s a compliment to the [Rotary] club itself.”


  1. Time for the Martinborough Fair to provide live music through the day. It’s a lovely but very sombre event, compared with the 12 live-stage fair which Newtown runs _ and which attracts double the number of fair-goers. And the Martinborough Fair needs more food stalls, notably using the restaurants and their facilities along Kitchener Street.

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