Anniversary has Elizabethan flavour

By anne-marie.mcdonald@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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ELIZABETHAN SPIRIT: The Great Bason Fair organiser Terry Dowdeswell practises his hobby horse jousting, while riding their hobby horses in the background are (from left) Ana Chambers, Phoebe Brown and Lucinda Jurgens.PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO
ELIZABETHAN SPIRIT: The Great Bason Fair organiser Terry Dowdeswell practises his hobby horse jousting, while riding their hobby horses in the background are (from left) Ana Chambers, Phoebe Brown and Lucinda Jurgens.PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO

An Elizabethan world will be re-created at the Bason Botanic Gardens next weekend.

The Great Bason Fair will take place on Sunday, February 14, with three performances of Macbeth, also at the Bason Botanic Gardens, on February 12 and 13.

Organiser Terry Dowdeswell from the Bason Botanic Gardens Trust said the Elizabethan-themed fair would include food, entertainment, games, archery, fencing, hobby horse jousting, tug of war, period music, craft stalls and much more.

There is a competition with a small prize for the best-dressed prince and princess.

Free buses will run every half hour during the day, starting at 9.30am from the i-Site, picking up people at the corner of Abbot St and Heads Rd, the shops at the corner of Cross St and Heads Rd, and the corner of Fox Rd and Mosston Rd.

Mr Dowdeswell said Karen Craig, who will direct the performances of Macbeth, approached the trust wanting to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death by staging a play at the gardens.

"We thought that was a good idea, so we thought we'd have a fair at the same time.

"We decided to make it Elizabethan to carry over the theme from the play," Mr Dowdeswell said.

He said the purpose of the fair was to attract people to the Bason Botanic Gardens.

"They're a real asset to Whanganui, but because they're a little way out of town people don't stumble across them by accident.

"The gardens are a great family environment, and we want to encourage families to come along and have some fun."

This is the first year the Great Bason Fair has been held, but Mr Dowdeswell said he hoped the event would become a regular on the Whanganui calendar.

-The Great Bason Fair, 10am-4pm, February 14, Bason Botanic Gardens, Rapanui Rd. Tickets at the gate, adults $10, under-15s free. Macbeth, February 12 at 7.30pm, February 13 at 2pm and 7.30pm, Bason Botanic Gardens. Tickets $20 from the Royal Wanganui Opera House.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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