Gala Day draws thousands to Brighton Domain

It is a big day for Brighton and a "huge" day for the Brighton Surf Life Saving Club.

Showing off her new toy from the Brighton Gala Day, Delilah Pearson (4), of Dunedin, enjoys a hot...
Showing off her new toy from the Brighton Gala Day, Delilah Pearson (4), of Dunedin, enjoys a hot dog. Photos: Linda Robertson
As the Brighton Gala Day crowds had the Brighton Domain heaving with thousands of people before noon, fundraising for the 60-lifeguard-strong, 100% volunteer surf life-saving club started well, Brighton Surf Life Saving Club president Rebecca Aburn, of Saddle Hill, said.

"Brighton is very much a family-oriented surf club," Mrs Aburn said. "It’s a good little club and we’re doing really well at the moment.

"This is a huge day. This is our biggest day."

Between $5000 and $7000 dollars was raised annually at the free event and would help to pay for the tools of the trade — inflatable rescue boats, rescue tubes and flags.

Yesterday’s fine weather would make for a busy day for lifeguards at Brighton Beach, she said.

There was a rahui, or temporary closure, from Black Head to Tow Rock, following the drowning of 14-year-old Vinnie Beecroft at St Clair on Thursday.

Selling donuts and collecting donations are Brighton Surf Life Saving Club members Aidan Blair ...
Selling donuts and collecting donations are Brighton Surf Life Saving Club members Aidan Blair (13, left), of Saddle Hill, and Javara Clark (13), of Taieri Mouth.
Meanwhile, Brighton Gala Day founding co-ordinator Colin Weatherall said the 24th gala day was designed to give crowds and vendors more room to move.

Stalls were capped at 170 this year, including the 32 food stalls, down from 185 stalls last year.

Checking out her newly painted cat face is Grace Tagg (6), of Brighton.
Checking out her newly painted cat face is Grace Tagg (6), of Brighton.
By noon, about 5000 had surged through the gates and he expected the crowd to measure 10,000 to 12,000 by day’s end.

At that time, he said, he would confirm the community event was planned to go ahead next year to reach the quarter-century mark.

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