Plenty of cheer at fare in the square

Joy McIvor
Joy McIvor
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But it always pays to "keep it fresh".

The maxim Waimate Strawberry Fare organising committee chairwoman Joy McIvor ascribes to served her well again for this year’s version of one of Waimate’s signature events on Saturday.

As thousands of punters filled Seddon Square and the neighbouring Boland Park for the  30th time since the Waimate Strawberry Fare shifted from the Butler’s Berry Farm roadside stall into the middle of the South Canterbury town in 1989, Mrs McIvor said the organising committee ensured there was "plenty of food" and a variety of fare and wares.

But the organising committee wanted to celebrate the bright red fruit that began the one-day festival.

"We’ve got a good formula," she said. "We don’t need to change anything."

Roving entertainers, the Waimate Highland Pipe Band and musicians kept the crowd of all ages engaged.

The 34 stalls in 1989 had grown to 280 stallholders - the capacity for the area - who were typically locked in by June with many registering for next year’s festival on Saturday.

Stallholder fees had kept the organising committee financially self-sufficient for the past four years.

Service groups and local youth pitched in on the day to support the event and the six-member committee met regularly through the year.

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