Large crowd for A and P show

Some of the more than 5000 people who attended the Lake Hayes A and P show on Saturday enjoy the lunch-time Grand Parade. Organisers said they had more people through the gates than ever before. Photo by Mike Boyd.
Some of the more than 5000 people who attended the Lake Hayes A and P show on Saturday enjoy the lunch-time Grand Parade. Organisers said they had more people through the gates than ever before. Photo by Mike Boyd.
Preliminary counts indicate that this year's Lake Hayes A and P show was one of the most popular ever, and you only had to look at the many happy faces present on Saturday to confirm the success of the day.

At least 5000 people from all over the region and beyond turned out on a cloudy and reasonably calm day to catch up with friends, watch the equestrian events and lawn-mower racing, delight in the sideshows and food stalls, and - for many - just to sit on the arena bank and be entertained.

For Jim McKie and his young family, who moved to Christchurch three years ago, the best thing besides the horses and ferris wheel was revisiting the life and people they left behind.

"The relaxed setting where you bump into people - and so many of the people you know - that's the beauty of the area," he said.

The community feel is what draws many back to the Lake Hayes A and P show year after year, including TV personality and comedian Te Radar, who was in his element judging home brews, flower arrangements and the barbecuing competition, to name but a few.

"The [shows] I enjoy the most are the small ones that have the real community spirit. It's nice coming back and seeing all the familiar faces The big ones can be so soulless."

One of the highlights for many was the shearing competition won by New Zealand Under 21 champion Cole Pewhairangi, who defeated Queenstown police Sergeant Blair Duffy for the title in a two lamb, two ewe final. The shearing was done with an old hand-wound shearing machine, circa 1900.

With car parks full, and something on offer for the entire community, A and P committee secretary Jan Tomes was extremely happy with the show.

"Preliminary counting of our takings show that we must have had more people through our gates than any other year. It's going to be a bit of a challenge for the committee to equal it [next year]," he said.