The rain came but so did the crowds at the Stratford A&P show over the weekend.

Stratford A&P association secretary, Vicki Jagersma, says over 8000 people came through the gates on the weekend, with many families taking advantage of the free entry offered to all children aged 14 and under, thanks to sponsorship from the TSB Community Trust.
While gate numbers were down on previous years, this was to be expected, says Ian McCaul, president of the Stratford A&P Association.

"We've actually been really happily surprised by the support shown this year despite the bad weather. We really do appreciate that support and thank everyone who has come."
Ian says particular thanks are due to the trade stall exhibitors, saying with 160 stalls the show was definitely the biggest ever.

With the show in its 109th year, it was great to see it was still such an important part of the calendar for Stratford people, he said.

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"It's great walking around and seeing so many happy people enjoying a day out at the show."

Moana Hancock competing in the Hokonui Rural Challenge at the Stratford A and P Show on Saturday.
Moana Hancock competing in the Hokonui Rural Challenge at the Stratford A and P Show on Saturday.

Among them were the Trevors from New Plymouth.

Margaret Trevor said she had brought her grandchildren to the show after hearing about the free entry for children.

"It makes it affordable, and the kids zone was great, so much happening, the children all had a great time. They loved the glitter tattoos and face painting mainly, although they also spent ages digging in the hay for prizes."

Krystiana Wetton from New Plymouth with her Weimaraner Lexi, competing in the Dog Agility competition.
Krystiana Wetton from New Plymouth with her Weimaraner Lexi, competing in the Dog Agility competition.
 Cadets from No 48 Squadron and No 8 Squadron camped at the show all weekend, putting on demonstrations of marching and talking to potential recruits.
Cadets from No 48 Squadron and No 8 Squadron camped at the show all weekend, putting on demonstrations of marching and talking to potential recruits.