Carnival cash fills school coffers
In just six short years the Waipu Easter Carnival has grown from a little light entertainment to one of the major events on the local holiday calendar.
The basic recipe is still the same – to involve pupils and parents and raise funds for the primary school – but it has now grown to almost gigantic proportions thanks to new PTA members rotating with time, new ideas and innovations and a growing influx of residents and visitors looking for different forms of entertainment over the long weekend. In fact, many out-of-towners admit to coming to Waipu specifically for the carnival.
It is now more than a school affair, it’s a community affair, with stalls, booths and various displays filling almost every vantage point throughout the town which, though the centre is little more than 100 metres in length, fills to capacity with shoppers, hunters, gatherers and fossickers who then spread to fill even the main area of the Caledonian Park.
Co-ordinator Angela Amsterdam says such an event takes a lot of time and effort by around ten core members but backed by a capable team of co-opted helpers.
“Planning for the next carnival begins the day after the current one,” says Angela though she admits that most of her team are ‘shattered’ after their efforts leading up to and on the day, and need a wee break to recharge their batteries before mulling over new ideas for next year’s event.
Among the many highlights are the lawnmower races which began as a novelty and have now reached Grand Prix status, and the auction of surplus farm goods which this year contributed $13,000 to the net figure of over $50,000 going into the school coffers.
Food stall operators have to prepare well in advance but still some were hard-put to keep up with the demand of hungry shoppers.
As tiring as it may be, organisers can be well satisfied with their efforts as this year’s event has netted in excess of $50,000 profit. A fair return for the effort involved.
By Rob Pooley