Field days take a power of planning

Last updated 12:55 10/03/2014
Cheryl Riddell, event manager for Central Districts Field Days at Manfeild Park in Feilding.
BIG JOB: Cheryl Riddell, event manager for Central Districts Field Days at Manfeild Park in Feilding.

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Every year, a small but dedicated team of volunteers and staff work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the Central Districts Field Days - billed as the best day off the farm all year.

At the helm of this team is event manager Cheryl Riddell, who has been involved for the past 18 years organising exhibitors, sites, competitions and everything in between.

"The field days are a premium marketing opportunity and we have a great lineup of exhibitors and competitors returning to ensure this is the best day off the farm all year."

She is busy 11 months of the year planning and organising, and says integral to the success of the field days is the staff and volunteers who do everything from picking up rubbish, marking out sites and driving forklifts to manning the field days headquarters and making deliveries.

Volunteers are also busy making deliveries to exhibitors and helping the occasional visitor get their purchases back to the car park.

"I believe we may be the only field days offering this service. I know our exhibitors are very grateful for this, as it does help them make a sale if we can help get heavier products brought back to the car park."

Riddell said people like Noel and Eleanor, who happily gave up their time, were amazing and made her job a lot easier.

"Noel is very handy with the tools and he knows what has to be done and just does it. There is so much work that goes into CDFD, and then the week of the event, everyone is flat-out getting ready for a miniature town to pop up.

"We have a number of exhibitors who help out by providing motorbikes, trailers, cranes and other equipment and this support is invaluable.

"The help I receive from a lot of old contacts is amazing. Their support is invaluable and without it, the job of organising CDFD would be very difficult."

* The Central Districts Field Days will be held at Manfield Park in Feilding from this Thursday through to Saturday. The main entrance to field days is from South Street with two more entrances off Kawakawa Road. Gates open at 8.30am each day until 4.30pm on Thursday and Friday. Gates will close at 4pm on Saturday.

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