Rain hits Thorndon Fair turnout

MATT STEWART
Last updated 07:58 03/12/2012
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ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
COLOURFUL CHARACTERS: Rory Lawes, 5, joins in with the Thorndon Fair Frolickers with his dad Elliot, playing the flute, at the Thorndon Fair.

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Despite wet and windy weather reducing crowd numbers at this year's Thorndon Fair, organisers say the event was a hit.

About 20,000 punters packed Tinakori Rd and lower Hill St yesterday for the annual event, which has been running since 1983 and raises money for Thorndon School.

School principal Alistair du Chatenier said logistics, including road closures and clean-up, went off without a hitch.

On a sunny day the fair typically attracts about 30,000 people, but with a wet and windy start and drizzle throughout the day that figure was down by about 10,000 this year.

"But it was a trouble-free day, and, despite the conditions, the atmosphere was still good," Mr du Chatenier said.

This year pupil performers, including kapa haka and Pasifika groups, wowed fair-goers for the first time. The school's top chess players also took on allcomers in a $2 chess challenge.

The fair raised an estimated $50,000, which went towards funding an extra teacher for the decile 10 school.

Veteran festival-goer Elliot Lawes said he was enjoying the cooler, overcast conditions, which provided a nice change from spending the day in the sweltering sun.

"It's pretty packed - there's thousands roaming the streets like beasts. It's a great fundraiser," he said.

"The atmosphere is 'up' - it's vibrant, there's lots of things to see, buy and do and lots of kids, food and interesting artwork and good creative stuff," Mr Lawes said.

He was part of the clean-up crew when the fair finished at 3pm.

The annual event was launched by the Thorndon Society in 1977 and gifted to Thorndon School in 1983.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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