Saturday, April 13, 2024

Field days a hit with visitors, exhibitors

Neal Wallace
Record crowds came, say organisers, and they were ready to spend.
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A record 45,000 people attended Southern Field Days near Gore, organisers say, and they spent money.

Steve Henderson, chair of the field day’s organising committee, visited many of the record 780 exhibitors and said they were positive, especially those selling small and medium-size and -priced products.

He said vendors of four-wheelers, motorbikes, clothing and small implements seemed to have been busy.

One vendor sold 40 tunnel houses.

The record attendance and buoyant sales surprised Henderson, given the current soft rural economy.

“Coming into the field days I never imagined we’d have a result like that.

“People came to see the exhibitors, not to buy hot dogs.”

Covid meant it has been four years since the last field days near Gore and Henderson said there could have been pent-up interest and purchases delayed until buyers could physically see and compare options such as at field days.

The weather helped this year’s interest.

Henderson said Wednesday, the first day of the field days, was hot and the grounds were full by mid-morning.

Rain the next day encouraged attendees to visit exhibitor tents while Friday, the final day, was hot and attracted the largest number of people.

“It was pretty satisfying to see.”

Attention is now turning to the next event in 2026 and Henderson said he believes a focus will be to ensure those attending have an enjoyable experience.

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