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Why have the Martinborough Fair?

April 10, 2018 April 2018 No Comments

The idea of a country fair came from Bill Fetch, who became a Rotarian in 1972. Bill had travelled to Germany and was impressed with the village markets there. He felt the Martinborough town square, with its open space and lovely shade trees would make an ideal venue for a similar fair. He believed Rotarians could provide the organisational framework to allow craftspeople to sell their wares. Bill wanted any profits made to be given to local South Wairarapa charities – especially those connected with youth.

The basic philosophy behind the Martinborough Fair has changed little over the years. The organisers hope to:

  • Give Craftspeople a chance to display and sell their wares.
  • Give local charities a chance to raise funds from a wider range of customers than is usually available.
  • Provide the Rotary Club with funds to give to charities, especially those in South Wairarapa. In accordance with Bill Fetch’ s wishes, special funds have always been set aside for young people.
  • Publicise Martinborough, South Wairarapa and Rotary

Martinborough shops and other Wairarapa retailers all benefit from the fairs. Lotto does well in Pain & Kershaw, Greytown orchardists report increased turnover and Featherston Gas station puts on extra staff.  Hotels, motels, and camping grounds are mostly full, and many private homes overflow with out-of-town visitors.

Thanks to the hard work of Rotarians, and especially the conveners and their committees, the South Wairarapa Rotary Martinborough Country Fair is now well established as the premier weekend attraction in Wairarapa’s annual calendar of events.

The first fair ran at a loss with 35 stalls, but this time, 41 years on, proceeds from almost 500 stalls enabled South Wairarapa Rotary Club to distribute over $100,000 in Fair support services, grants, bursaries, and project support throughout the South Wairarapa and internationally.

Enquiries:  info@swrotary.org.nz.  Website: swrotary.org.nz

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