41,000 through gates


Southern Field Days organisers are celebrating another record-breaking event with about 41,000 people pouring through the gates during the three days.
Field days secretary Sharon Paterson said the number of people attending the event at Waimumu was about 1000 more than the last event two years ago.
On Friday, there was a huge number of school pupils and younger children through the gate.
Children gained entry free so it was difficult to gauge just how many children attended, Mrs Paterson said.
Thursday proved to be a particularly popular day with gate takings some of the largest recorded, she said.
Mrs Paterson said committee had received plenty of positive comments about the event.
There was huge interest in the wide variety of goods on sale at the event.
“Everyone was smiling, everybody was happy and chirpy,” Mrs Paterson said.
The weather was kind which also added to the enjoyment of the event.
Mataura Licensing Trust general manager Mark Paterson said the field days were outstanding.
Mr Paterson predicted the MLT would have broken financial records every day during the event. Final figures were not yet in.

The trust ran a booth selling food and beverages at the field days.
“We were better than the last year,” Mr Paterson said.
The trust’s restaurants and bars in Gore also reaped the benefits of the large crowds.
On Thursday night after the Highlanders-Crusaders rugby game played Fred Booth Park at Waimumu, Gore was particularly busy, he said.
“After the rugby the street between Thomas Green and Howl at the Moon was packed. You couldn’t get a car up the street.”
Mr Paterson said the event was hugely beneficial for the district as millions of dollars would be spent during the three days.
“It’s so good,” he said.
Wadzee co-owner Lisa Wadsworth, of Gore, who had a site at Southern Field Days, said this was the third time the business had been at the event.
“There seems to be more people around,” Mrs Wadsworth said.
She also reported sales being up on the previous year she attended.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said each time the field days were held they exceeded his expectations.
The number of exhibits and the size and scale of each site had increased. Mr Hicks said.
The rugby game was also an added bonus, he said.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of positive feedback. The variety of the exhibitions is quite amazing. There is something for everyone,” Mr Hicks said.
The field days were a real asset to not only the Gore district but to Southland as a whole, he said.



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