Maike van der Heide continues a series looking back at stories of interest from the Marlborough Express files. This story is from December 10, 1977.
One of the first ever Mistletoe Markets, or the "Mistletoe shopping mall" was held in central Blenheim on this day.
Still going strong near 40 years later, the market was described as being "just like Hong Kong" by one stall holder as he reportedly surveyed the crowd.
During the market a "substantial" gas leak, which probably would have shut down the market, if not the entire CBD in today's safety-conscious society, instead threatened to barbecue venison being sold at a stall nearby at beef prices.
Organised by the Blenheim Lions Club, the market offered "cakes and clothes, pickles and produce, raffles and rhubarb". The Lions had also invited other community groups to set up stalls, such as Plunket, marching clubs, school committees, Jaycees, the Save the Children Fund and the Veteran Car Club.
Though the market was reportedly a success, one stallholder was reported as saying shoppers were "much fussier than last year . . . They checked prices and wanted value for money".
- The Marlborough Express