Set in the Wakatipu Basin, not far from Arrowtown, I think it’s got one of the world’s most picturesque show arenas and is the ideal location to celebrate all things country and the world of “lifestylers” (those townies that want to have a go a running a mini farm). Read on to learn more about the events, animals and people that made the day a success.
For me it’s not just about the day itself, it’s the hours and hours of preparation that go into making it all happen. People spend months getting their prized stock ready, vegetable gardens are well tended, and recipes for new baking wonders are agonised over – all in the hope of winning a blue ribbon.
As someone who hasn’t spent much time on working farms, it also good to see skills that have been hard earned. Shepherding and shearing are celebrated at dog trials and shearing competitions, and I have a habit of standing slack-jawed on the side of the arena watching the equestrian events.
Even the youngest rider gives it a good go, and for me, being on one of the working horses, flying over fences, would be my idea of sheer terror. How, these equine maestros take control of such massive animals is beyond me!
There was the usual assortment of food trucks, fairground rides and stalls selling everything from waste water systems to woollen socks. My favourite purchase of the day was a new pair of possum fur boot liners as my trusty possum Ugg boots are a little worse for wear.
The grand parade was presided over by the Topp Twins (NZ’s well-loved country and western entertainers) and the local pipe band led the way. As fire engines, tractors, horses, dogs and prized livestock circled the arena all I could do was to send up a silent thank you to the universe. Over the years thousands of people must have helped organise and sponsor the Lake Hayes A & P Show and I can only hope that it keeps going for at least a 100 more.