Calls to can Timaru On Show

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012
Timaru Retail Association
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
FESTIVAL CLASHES: Geraldine retailers are concerned after the Timaru Retail Association hosted a street event last Friday, the same day as the annual arts and plants boulevard market in Geraldine.
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Geraldine shop owners are calling for the Timaru Retail Association to reconsider the future dates of its Canterbury Show weekend street event.

Retailers in Geraldine believe a market-style event held in Timaru last Friday clashed with the 24th annual Geraldine Arts and Plants boulevard market day.

Timaru's Stafford St was closed off from 10am until 7pm for its event, called Timaru On Show, which featured stalls, giveaways and entertainment. Geraldine's annual boulevard market day started at 10am and finished at 4pm.

Geraldine retailers believe the clash had the potential to be damaging to the Geraldine event.

Rosemary Shirtcliff, of The Kitchen Cupboard, said it was "inappropriate" of the Timaru Retail Association. She said holding a market day during this week's Rose Festival should have been a more obvious option.

"I just think it's inappropriate in the difficult retail environment at the moment for our fellow retailers to rain on our parade. It [Arts and Plants] is something that's been going on for years.

"It hurts a bit, really, because we are all in retail together. We don't want to work against each other."

Yanna Houwaard, of Tresjoli, agreed.

"I think it's much nicer to work together, rather than trying to compete."

She said there was no reason each of the town's events could not be held at different times.

Carolyn McQuade, of Outline Clothing, was also upset when she found out the Timaru event would be held at the same time as Geraldine's boulevard day.

"How would they feel if we had a rose festival on the same weekend?"

However, Timaru Retail Association chairman Keith McRobie said Timaru On Show was not designed to cash in on Geraldine Arts and Plants. Instead it was an attempt to resurrect the old boulevard day, which used to take place in Timaru on Christchurch show day.

He said the event used to be a "big deal", but for some reason it lapsed and was never revived.

Mr McRobie believes if the towns worked together they could all benefit, including Oamaru, which also hosted it's annual heritage celebrations on Friday.

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- The Timaru Herald

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