Fresh berry fare

Olga Chpilka, from Timaru, looks at a budgie for sale in the North Otago Bird Fanciers Club tent at the Strawberry Fare.
Olga Chpilka, from Timaru, looks at a budgie for sale in the North Otago Bird Fanciers Club tent at the Strawberry Fare.
Charlee Cooper, 1, from Mosgiel has fun with bubbles at the Strawberry Fare.
Charlee Cooper, 1, from Mosgiel has fun with bubbles at the Strawberry Fare.
Sophie, left, and Molly Turner, admire flowers at the Strawberry Fare.
Sophie, left, and Molly Turner, admire flowers at the Strawberry Fare.
Keeping customers cool with lemonade are Martin Kane and Kate Connor from the Petit Cafe stall at the Waimate Strawberry Fare.
Keeping customers cool with lemonade are Martin Kane and Kate Connor from the Petit Cafe stall at the Waimate Strawberry Fare.
Stalls, crowds and entertainment filled Seddon Square in Waimate for the Strawberry Fare.
Stalls, crowds and entertainment filled Seddon Square in Waimate for the Strawberry Fare.
Anne and Sandra Wee, on holiday from Singapore, test a swing chair from the Landscape Furniture stall in Waimate.
Anne and Sandra Wee, on holiday from Singapore, test a swing chair from the Landscape Furniture stall in Waimate.

Strawberry jam, strawberries and cream, and plain fresh strawberries ... the berries were out in force as well as the crowds at the 30th annual Waimate Strawberry Fare.

Beautiful weather on Saturday drew crowds of 12,000 to Waimate to celebrate the season of the strawberry.

Waimate strawberries are gaining a reputation as some of the best in New Zealand, according to fair chairperson Joy McIvor.

BERRY DELICIOUS: Holly Dunn, 7, from Kerikeri was one of many who  enjoyed strawberries at the Strawberry Fare in Waimate.
BERRY DELICIOUS: Holly Dunn, 7, from Kerikeri was one of many who enjoyed strawberries at the Strawberry Fare in Waimate.

"It's been a bumper season for Waimate strawberries. They've got a good name throughout New Zealand, and comparing them to some of the supermarket ones, you can really tell the difference," Mrs McIvor said.

Upwards of 250 stalls packed the grounds at Seddon Square and Boland Park, offering a wide variety of goods.

In past years Strawberry Fare has called in big-name acts from elsewhere, but this year the organising committee decided to keep it close to home, and had a line-up of "brilliant" local artists, according to Mrs McIvor.

This years line-up included musicians Topp Shelf, Eden Cooney, Jaz Patterson, The Ukulele Band, the Waimate Pipe Band, and entertainers Henry, Waimate Scottish Dancers, and Silly Billy the clown.

"It was just an awesome day. It's been very successful over many years, and this year was no different," Mrs McIvor said.

The Timaru Herald