Monday, May 7, 2012

A Day at the Martinborough Fair

Hooray - I've attended my 1st Martinborough Fair and without a drop of rain or gust of wind! 

This was the re-run for the cancelled March event.   These iconic fairs are usually held in February and March so this was an 'unknown' for the Rotary organisers who have been holding this event for 35+ years.  And as our 1st time it was also an unknown to us. 

The entire central town is closed off for the day and 450 odd stalls take over the square and neighbouring streets - it looks something like this...

We heard that shopper numbers were down and crowds were less but if that's the case I would hate to think what it's like at full numbers! It was AMAZING.

The day before - stall sites all marked out and relative calm and quiet!

My stall site just off one of the main entrances - eek it's on a slope!

Our BandB room with lovely views over gardens and semi-rural vistas
A Bed and Breakfast that sends the stall-holders staying away with fresh scones and ginger cake for morning tea and remembering I was gluten free from our last visit had gone out and found 2 GF breakfast cereals to add to the impressive breakfast feast - Barbara and Ted are legends!
5.30am start - unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!) I was directly under a street light so I didn't get to wear my 'head lamp'.  There are stall holders that arrive at 3.45am to set-up - I can see why and I probably needed an extra ½ to ¾ of an hour to setup then I would've been able to sneak away and do a quick reckie of stalls/purchase before the public arrived.  As it was I only had two opportunities to race away from my stall and that was to quickly catchup with other creative friends - no chance to browse.  My mum went for a look around and got lost ... seriously!
A town transformed with 450+ stalls and 25,000 people!

Stalls bordering The Square

Stalls in every street off The Square

The one chance I got to take photos of my stalls when customers were just starting to arrive.  Very happy with the way my mothers paintings added to the overall look of the stall - she can come back!

A fantastic and enjoyable day we were treated to happy, interested and interesting customers who were enjoying their day out with friends or family exploring everything the fair had to offer.  So many had come prepared with big bags and a mission to find their favourite stalls and discover new ones! 

My last customer of the day gave a broad smile and announced - 'See you Next Year' ..... Yes, yes you will!


  1. Wow!!! This really has wet my appetite to do a market away someplace. I have to plan one with you - we should aim for one by the end of the year, at least! It would be so cool to go and stay somewhere and take a little road trip. :) Will put the antennas out. Thank you for inspiring me to do so! Mel it just looks awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    1. I'd be in with bells on Louise! You find the market and let me know :)

      Actually, I really don't think my photos did the event justice, I should've taken a video to try and capture the atmosphere, I've honestly never done an outdoor market with such a great vibe, mix of stalls and happy smiling faces! One of my favourite overheard comments - "... right, we've bought lots of goodies, had some great food, walked our feet off what shall we do now? ... let's visit a winery.." Cheers to that ;)

      And funny you should mention the flowers Louise - I had a heap of people comment on them and have a feel - they're rather tactile :D

      Thanks so much for your lovely words x

  2. By the way, i love the black bunting of sorts you have around your stall table. It looks spectacular. Wonderful wonderful!!

  3. Wow this must have been a great opportunity to get your product out there. I've been procrastinating about getting to a market and seeing what people think about my work and this was great inspiration so thank you! I'm subscribing.

    1. You absolutely should Paula - find a great market where you are and do it, there's nothing quite like the face-to-face feedback you get.
      P.S. Just been to your blog and happy to be your 1st follower :)


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