Thousands make the most of annual Brighton gala

A substantial crowd, stalls and food caravans intermingle at the Brighton Domain yesterday. PHOTO...
A substantial crowd, stalls and food caravans intermingle at the Brighton Domain yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Brighton got in its gala on what could be the last day for such occasions this summer.

Thousands of people flocked to Brighton, near Dunedin, for the annual gala yesterday to go for rides, buy various wares, sample the food and enjoy a get-together.

It started at 10am, just an hour before Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country was headed for the restrictive Red traffic light setting from midnight, because of the Covid-19 Omicron variant’s spread.

Gatherings are limited to 100 people in the Red setting.

Ms Ardern outlined a three-stage response to Omicron and said it could be weeks before phase three applied, by which time New Zealanders could expect thousands of new cases daily.

One of the gala organisers, Scott Weatherall, estimated about 8000 people came to the Brighton Domain yesterday.

Organisers had worked with the Southern District Health Board and Public Health South and precautions included attendees needing to produce Covid-19 vaccine passes and vendors wearing masks.

People appreciated the gala being able to go ahead, Mr Weatherall said.

Maurice Boyles and Heather Macmillan, of Dunedin, enjoyed looking at the crafts on display.

They learned of the Covid-19 announcement while on their way to the fair, but were not deterred.

Haley Strydom (11), of Waldronville, enjoyed a helicopter ride.

Her mother, Kim Strydom, who has family in South Africa, said the experience of Omicron there was the strain was highly infectious, but not as dangerous as other variants.

The Government has called for people who are eligible to get a Covid-19 booster jab to shore up their protection against the virus, and for children to start getting doses of the vaccine.

Dalton Goodfellow (17), of Dunedin, was looking for bargain buys of use in the long term.

The King’s High School pupil was not sure what was going to happen with his schooling under Omicron conditions.

Pipes and Drums of Dunedin Inc had people thinking slightly beyond summer.

The group raffled off a trailer-load of firewood.


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