Marlborough Express - Great events help our community, and visitors, connect

Columns
Monday, November 16, 2015

We are perfectly placed here, right in the middle of New Zealand, to make the most of attracting visitors from other regions whether by road, ferry or on our excellent air services. What it does for our economy is hard to overstate.

Local festivals and events benefit from this geographical advantage and further encourage visitors to our region. Two such events that I was pleased to attend recently were the annual Marlborough A&P Show and the Nelmac Garden Marlborough event.

Both do a fantastic job of showcasing the best our region has to offer, both for locals and the many visitors who flock to Marlborough for the weekend.

I booked a site at the A&P Show because I want to be available for members of the community to have the opportunity to drop by and have a chat, and I appreciate that many of you did. A & P Shows are such a vital part of provincial centres like Blenheim as they give people the chance to celebrate what makes us special.  On a beautiful, sunny Marlborough day, with the Wither Hills as a backdrop, it's hard to beat and it was great to see so many families taking advantage of a great day out.

I took the chance to visit quite a few of the many stands at the show and had fun taking part in the gift lamb competition, where unfortunately I did not fare very well.

I really enjoy A&P shows and having now attended the Canterbury A & P show also, I look forward to attending the autumn shows next year. The only one I will miss is the Rai show, which falls on the same day as the Amuri A&P Show in Rotherham, and I alternate between the two.

I also attended the Nelmac Garden Marlborough Garden Party at Virginia Macfarlane's 'The Spring' in Rapaura. Virginia's garden made for an absolutely stunning setting and the food by chef Jonny Schwass, showcasing the best of Marlborough's fresh produce was superb. About 400 people attended and had a thoroughly good time.

I was lucky enough to win the auction for a unique barbecue in a wine barrel made by Sturrock and Jo Saunders at the Bayleys Art Auction, for which the theme was, very aptly, "barrel of fun". 

Profits from the auction will help support two new Garden Marlborough scholarships for horticultural students – a great cause.

The Garden Fete in Seymour Square was another wonderful day. I really enjoyed watching the brass band and the performance by Springlands School before heading around the colourful, varied stalls and picking up a few small items. The organisers and volunteers behind both the A&P Show and Nelmac Garden Marlborough must be congratulated for once again putting on outstanding events, which bring together all the wonderful things that make Marlborough unique.