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Popular demand . . . The Geraldine Summer Fete returns to Stover Farm on November 2, for its eighth year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Alexia Johnston

Festival and fete season is again upon South Canterbury, and Geraldine starts the festivities in the coming days.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the various events over the warmer months, starting with the Geraldine Summer Fete on November 2.

The fete, at Stover Farm, is in its eighth year.

Over that time it has grown in popularity. About 2500 people visited the day-long event last year.

Co-organiser Deanna Mackenzie-Connor said money raised from entry sales would be donated to the Lions Club of Geraldine, South Canterbury Hospice and Geraldine’s St John branch, as it had in other years.

Visitors will get the chance to enjoy a selection of quality stalls from 9.30am-4pm, along with performances.

This year’s headline act is The Drama Queens.

The Geraldine fete will feature 190 stalls, up by about 10 from last year, she said.

Those stalls would be spread out around the area, including in the farm’s original grain shed.

Festival-goers will have a two-week gap before the town’s next event gears up – the 29th Geraldine Arts and Plants Festival.

Festival committee chairman John Rule said preparations for that event, from November 16-19, were on track.

“They are going well. We are virtually there,” he said, of the planning.

“We are pretty much ready to go and [we] look forward to a good weekend.”

A range of art and wares will be on display throughout the event, including works from as far away as Auckland. Stall-holders from around the country would also go to the event, he said.

Festival-goers could look forward to the return of tried and true aspects, but some new concepts would be added this year, Mr Rule said.

“There will be no parking on the main street. That will be a better experience for retailers, stall-holders and the general public.

“We hope it will be much safer as well,” he said.

The arts festival will have an official opening on the Thursday, and arts and photographic exhibition will feature. The exhibition, to be displayed in the Geraldine Primary School hall, closes on the Sunday.

The popular street market in the town centre takes place on Friday, November 17. The following day, there will be stalls in the Geraldine Domain. Both run from 9am to 4pm.