Fun of the fair - without rain

By Nathan Crombie

Thousands of fairgoers enjoyed still and dry conditions at the 15th annual Mauriceville/Kopuaranga Fair yesterday despite forecasts of wild weather.

Veteran co-ordinator Norma Dunn, who alongside husband Tom has helped run the annual event since it began, said there had been at least 2000 people through the gates at the Clarke Memorial Domain for the fair.

There was a lower than usual turnout for the Farmlands-FMG Country Games and Tug of War that organiser Bill Taylor blamed on the rain forecasts, and Mrs Dunn said a small number of stallholders had not arrived because of the expected bad weather.

"We were told it was teeming in Masterton and teeming in Eketahuna but God loves Mauriceville. There were a few drops early in the morning that got us a bit worried but it all blew through in time, like the wind."

Mrs Dunn said there had been about 70 stallholders at the fair, which the Mauriceville/Kopuaranga Fair Association runs as a charity for the Mauriceville school, volunteer fire brigade and other groups in the district.

She said the association hopes to have Eftpos at the domain for the fair next year and cell reception in future as well.

The association keeps aside enough funds to run the event the following year and groups in the district are encouraged to apply for grants available from any profit each fair generates.

The Tug of War Challenge was won by Mauriceville School, second went to the MIS Waka Styles team and the Home School team came third, each team winning prizes of $400, $300 and $200 respectively. A special prize of $100 was awarded to the Mauriceville School junior team.

The Masterton Youth Orchestra, musician Johnny Rowe, and children's magician Andrew Wilson made an appearance along with the Pahiatua railcar that took fairgoers for rides to Masterton and return.

Father Christmas visited, vintage cars and machinery were on display, and there were horse and carriage rides, raffles, alpacas, and highland cattle on-site.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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