'Best day ever' draws 12,000 to Brighton Gala

Organisers say the turnout for this year's Brighton Gala was the biggest ever. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Organisers say the turnout for this year's Brighton Gala was the biggest ever. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
There were hot dogs and hot dogs at Brighton yesterday, at the annual gala day at the Brighton Domain, which organisers say experienced its ''biggest and best day ever''.

Organising committee member Colin Weatherall said organisers estimated the crowd at the gala this year was likely to be about 12,000 people, up from about 10,000 last year.

About 30 stalls were still selling goods at 4.30pm. The last stall-holders had packed up and gone home by that time last year, and some stall-holders reported their best sales yet, Mr Weatherall said.

''It's just been that good, and there are that many people still wandering around here.''

''Also, how I can tell it's that good is because of the amount of parking going on around Brighton, and the traffic jam.''

He believed the gala at the seaside village south of Dunedin, owed its success to being a free day out for families. Many brought their dogs along too, and organisers looked every year at how they could do things differently and better.

The number and variety of displays, including simulated volcano experiments, marching girls and rescue dogs, and stalls - 140 this year - increased each year.

The weather also ''absolutely no doubt'' had something to do with this year's success.

''We'll order another one for next year, I think.''

He became aware late in the day that two noise complaints had been laid with the Dunedin City Council about the gala - one about the helicopters flying in and out, taking people for rides, and the other about the noise from the band.

''I'd like to be upfront and apologise if anyone's offended. The only other thing I'd like to say is it's a one-day event, and it's for Brighton.''

-debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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