Cherry festival on New Year's Eve

Spit the pips, guess how many fruit in the jar and taste the pies.

It's all about the cherries as Cromwell celebrates its main summerfruit export crop on New Year's Eve.

The annual Cromwell and Districts Promotion Group Cherry Festival has a new date to coincide with the weekly Farmers and Craft Market.

''Hopefully, people who are buzzing over the markets will stick around for the festival events,'' group community relationships manager Brigitte Tait said.

The festival will be staged from 11.30am to 1.30pm in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Traditional crowd favourites such as the pie-making and pie-eating contests are on the programme, along with ''guess how many cherries in the jar'' and face-painting.

The event's ''star attraction'' was the national cherry pip-spitting contest, which was always hotly contested, Mrs Tait said.

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