Home Show pulls the punters

By Laurel Stowell -
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Liam Ramsey-Colgan tests his digger skills. Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.
Liam Ramsey-Colgan tests his digger skills. Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.

Everything from eyelash extensions to extendable ladders was under one roof in Whanganui last weekend - with a side dish of roving council candidates.

The Wanganui Chronicle's seventh annual Home & Lifestyle Show at the Jubilee Stadium had more than 100 stalls. And an estimated 10,000 people came to see them, Chronicle commercial sales manager Alison Hollard said.

About half the stalls were local, and they included a knitwear business from Marton and a Whanganui concrete contractor. The gold coin entry fee covered costs, and the Chronicle sold lots of $10 goodie bags.

The most popular stalls had gadgets to demonstrate, or things to give away. Four of Whanganui's mayoral candidates took advantage of the crowds to talk to voters.

Mrs Hollard called the show a success, and expects it to keep on growing.

"It's a new revenue stream in Whanganui. There are 150 exhibitors in town and most of the motels will be booked out this weekend.

It's a really good event for Whanganui as a whole," she said.

Exhibitor Justine Page, from Taupo, was showing chairs, baskets and other items imported from Indonesia and made from recycled tyres. They are available from stores, and also sold from the Retyred website.

It was the first time Ms Page had been to Whanganui, and she liked what she found.

"Whanganui people are great, and you know what? I don't know why Whanganui has such a bad reputation. It's beautiful. Really, really lovely. It's so nice I'm not going home tonight. I'm going to stay a bit longer," she said.

George and Kylie Herbert and three-year-old daughter Amelia were at the show for about an hour. They tried out a chair made of recycled tyres, and admired a spa pool.

Mrs Herbert stopped at a beauty product stall to find out about eyelash extensions. Amelia sampled cupcakes and cheesecake, and was given a balloon.

Outside, Kim and Judith Hollenback of JK Lawnscapes were giving people turns on a mini excavator as a fundraiser for the Cancer Society. Punters large and small paid $2, sat in the driver's seat and were coached to use the digger bucket to fish a bottle of drink out of a water trough.

"I enjoy helping kids and in this day and age there's a lot of kids that can't experience what they want to do in life. To have a go on a digger is just so much fun for them," Mr Hollenback said.

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