Publish date: 12/08/2019

One of North Canterbury’s largest events is moving into the Waimakariri District for the first time.

The Christmas Country Fete will take place at Lyddington Garden in Fernside for the first time in its 28-year history. Traditionally the event was held at Wynyard Farm near Culverden before being sold to Mike Sheppard in 2016. Mike has hosted two years of the Fete at Glenmark Domain in Waipara, but says it was time to add another dimension to the popular event.

“When we purchased the Fete, the aim was to try and keep it much the same as it had been. But after a few years at Glenmark we realised there was nothing new to draw people out to the event. The country garden at Lyddington adds another dimension; it turns a shopping experience into a whole day out with a beautiful garden to look at as well as all the stalls, music and food of the Fete.”

Lyddington GardenThe new site also offers more shade and wind protection than previous locations, and is much closer to Christchurch, which Mike says should attract more visitors from the city.

“Being closer to town means it’s possible for people to drop children off to school, drive the quick 40 minutes out to the Fete, have a wonderful day out and still return in time for the school pick-up.”

As well as the 4,500 to 6,000 expected attendees, the Fete will attract 160 stallholders to the region from around the country. With many needing to stay nearby the night before and after the event, Mike says Waimakariri accommodation and hospitality operators should notice an increase in business.

“We know that Amberley and Hanmer businesses have benefitted from the Fete in the past, so accommodation providers in Rangiora and the surrounding area will definitely benefit this year. We also imagine that a number of attendees will choose to mosey back through Rangiora and Kaiapoi after the event, and have a browse, a coffee or a meal.”

Visit Waimakariri District Promotions Manager Elizabeth Pitcorn says the arrival of the Fete is a real boon for the district.

“Having such a high profile, hugely popular event finding its permanent home in the Waimakariri District is huge. Events of this scale are always positive for the local economy and the region’s public profile. With thousands of people experiencing the Waimakariri District first-hand, we know they will love what they see and return in the future to experience more of what is on offer here.”

The Christmas Country Fete will take place on Thursday, October 31st from 10am-4pm at Lyddington Garden, 891 Mt Thomas Road, Fernside. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.thefete.co.nz.