What started as an idea for a fundraiser has blossomed into more than $500,000 raised and put back into the community.
And after running at six different locations over its 32 years, the Rotary Club of Rotorua North's Saturday Market has officially been planted at its new spot.
About 500 people made up the "biggest crowd we've ever seen" at Rotary's Saturday Market, marking the official opening of their permanent new spot on the corner of Pukuatua and Kuirau Sts.
was also the official opening of a market office for Rotary which resembles a food truck when not in use which was sponsored by Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.
Rotarian and event organiser Geoff Pooch put the mammoth turnout down to a few things - the visibility of the prime location, the social community space, ideal car parks, word of mouth - and spot prizes.
About 100 prizes donated from the "very generous" stallholders were given out every half hour, but, this was just the icing on the cake.
Two Mile band played and people were up dancing, which Pooch said he'd never seen at the market before.
The market was for the community, by the community, with locals coming before Saturday sport or to catch up with friends, he said.
The funds raised from stall fees had been put back into local charities, work, and study.
Preparation of the new site began in June with the late councillor Charles Sturt turning the first sod with the same spade used by the Queen in 1977 to plant a tree on the lakefront reserve.
This all began after 1987 president of the club Peter Hodsell mooted the idea that the club could fundraise by running a Saturday Market.
Rotarian Luke Martin then took up the challenge with the first market opening on July 16 1988 in the Woolworths supermarket car park, where the Novotel is now located.
The new location was developed by Rotorua Lakes Council to be a car park and basketball court six days a week, and every Saturday morning transformed into a market space.
Officially opening the market, mayor Steve Chadwick acknowledged Rotary for being a community-led project, saying giving back is what makes a community go round.
"Over $500,000 back into our community...is very, very important to the fabric of resilience in our community."
She acknowledged Rotary, stallholders, and the public for their support.
"This market has moved around but it's found its resting space.
"This is a very special community space."
The first market was located in a supermarket car park, where the Novotel now stands, and the most recent was Kuirau Park.
Documents provided by Rotary stated there had been social problems in Kuirau Park in the early 2000s involving criminal activity and people avoided going there which prompted the council asking the club to move the market there.
This was to encourage people back there, and the market started there in October 2008.
The club contributed money to upgrade the playground and during the next eight months, people started using the park more.
Places the market has operated since launching:
• Woolworths supermarket car park
• Spotlight car park
• Central mall car park
• Copthorne Hotel, Fenton St
• Whakarewarewa rugby ground, Froude St
• Kuirau Park