Gawler Rotary Village Fair

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Fast Facts
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The Rotary Club of Gawler’s Village Fair was first held almost 37 years ago. It came about because the Club was overwhelmed with applications for funding and support from local organisations.

The event is held in Pioneer Park at the northern end of Murray Street which is Gawler’s main street.

The aim of the Village Fair is to enable local organisations to raise much needed funds and showcase their activities to the wider community. The Rotary Club provides publicity during the weeks leading up to the fair which is held on the first Saturday in November. Rotarians erect stalls, provide trestles and also organise entertainment. Participation for community groups is free and participants retain all their takings. Public entry is also free.

A large range of organisations take part in the Village Fair. The following categories took part in the 2012 Village Fair.

Community Support 11

Service Groups 9

Disability Support 9

Entertainment/Display 7

Schools/Playgroups 6

Church 5

Environmental 3

Art/Craft 3

Recreational 2

Elderly Care 2

Stalls sell food and drink, local produce, plants, trees and shrubs, arts and crafts, novelties and a large range of second hand items.

Entertainment and demonstrations included the Gawler Town Band, the Gymnastic Club, the Dog Obedience Club, the Gawler Car Club, the Model Aircraft Club and the Gawler based Adelaide Soaring Club. From time to time, school bands and other local groups provide entertainment.

In recent years, the Gawler Art Society and the Rotary Club of Gawler have organised a junior art exhibition with the 2012 Fair attracting over 50 entries.

Groups taking part in the event raised $20,495 in 2012. Since its inception, the Village Fair has enabled groups to raise over $600,000.

As there is no entry fee, it is difficult to judge total attendance, but it is estimated that several thousand attend each year.

Planning and preparation for the event is ongoing with bookings for next year’s event being taken from early in the new year. Fulfilling Council, legal and health and safety obligations requires meticulous attention to detail and enables the older and less physically able members to have a high level of involvement. Setting up the venue involves many volunteer hours and most Rotarians irrespective of age or physical ability are able to be involved in some capacity. During the day, staffing and managing the event site requires a large number of Rotarians at all times and cleaning up after so many people is a major operation.

The Village Fair draws people from a very wide area and is of enormous benefit to local traders.

Locals and visitors alike acknowledge that the Village Fair is a great event that has played and will continue to play an important role in the social and community fabric of the town of Gawler.

Rotary Village Fair 2016

Rotary Club of Gawler, with assistance from Rotary club of Light commenced erection of over 60 shelters at a very cool 6 am, to accommodate 45 community groups seeking to raise funds and promote awareness for their groups Goods on offer were antiques, bric-a brac, cakes, baked goods, pre-loved clothing, new baby wear, plants and flower arrangements, and the coffee and Gelato van. Combined funds raised by the charitable and sporting group stall holders was in excess of $18,500. Entertainment by Sandy Creek Primary school Taiko Drummers, Gawler Town Band, Adelaide Jazz men, a cameo spot for Kayla McInerney playing keyboard, to raise funds for a keyboard upgrade needed for her further studies, Dog obedience demo, Gymnastics demo, Jumping castle, Knock-em-down stall. Model steam train display by Bob Ahrens, CFS truck There were also a number of information stalls; Hon Tony Piccolo, John Dawkins MLC, Gawler History Team and St. John Ambulance. Rotary Club of Gawler convened their annual Youth Art exhibition with over 100 entries exhibited from age groups 5 to 18 from local schools The Fair was opened by Gawler Mayor Karen Redman. For the second year in a row we were blessed with perfect weather The Rotary erection teams started pulling down, dismantling and packing shelters ready to be taken back to storage at around 2pm, with Pioneer Park returned to pristine condition by 4.30pm

Please click here to view many photos of the Village Fair over the years, as provided by the Rotary Club.

Please click here to view photos of the Rotary Club.

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Memories of Gawler Rotary Village Fair

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