By Sue Emeny
Beautiful weather and a great crowd were the most commonly heard comments at the annual Dannevirke Day market held on Friday to usher in the long weekend.
Dannevirke Community Board chairman Pat Walshe was pleased with the day which the board organises.
About 60 stallholders turned out on the day.
Half of those were local businesses but the rest were individuals selling a range of products.
Plenty of out-of-towners boosted the number of bargain hunters visiting the market.
Community board member Kim Spooner-Taylor, who manages the Dannevirke Camping Ground, said the Wairarapa Caravan Club was holding a rally in Dannevirke over the weekend and some members had arrived early so they could visit the market.
New stallholders included Marie Helleur who was selling her chilli sauces for the first time. Helleur has been making her Aftermath sauces since Level 2 lockdown.
She has developed two sauces, a hot chilli sauce which is made from the world's hottest chilli, the Carolina reaper, and a tomato sauce made using the Trinidad scorpion which is amongst the 10 hottest in the world.
Another first-timer was Dana Wishnowski who was selling her handmade cards.
She says she took up card-making 20 months ago as a distraction when she gave up smoking and it has now become a passion.
Toymaker Maxine Rees makes beautiful toys using, among other things, upcycled woollen blankets.
"I love toys, they make me happy."
Rees' brand is Shamwari, the Zimbabwean Shona language word for friend.
"It means when you give one of these toys as a gift, you are giving a friend."
Rees, who has been living in Tararua for almost two years, came to New Zealand in 1994 after having lived in Zimbabwe and South Africa.