Word on the (Market) street is stall holders at Hawke’s Bay’s biggest weekly foodie and social gathering – not to mention nation-wide (and worldwide) tourist attraction are rightly fuming that they may soon be ousted from their current spacious and picturesque summer location in the showgrounds’ Waikoko gardens and relocated into a permanent, less spacious and, you would have to think, far from picturesque marquee elsewhere on the Hastings site.
The yet-to-be-built marquee is to be a permanent feature at the grounds, primarily to provide more “indoor” space for Hawke’s Bay’s “Horse of the Year Show”, but it will be a multi-purpose facility.
Currently the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market has two sites at the showgrounds – the Waikoko Gardens during the summer and the under the grandstand and in the exhibition hall in the colder months and on wet days.
During the depths of winter, the grandstand and hall are far from ideal venues – often creating their own chilly wind-tunnels, but you could hardly imagine a marquee – some reports have it as being just more of a roofed-over area than a fully enclosed tent being much better.
The kicker, however, is I’m told this marquee is set to be the new summer location for the market too!
The Waikoko Gardens are what gives the market it’s wonderful, natural vibe!
Local growers and producers sell their wares underneath leafy, green trees.
The thousands of people, who attend the market each summer Sunday stroll around the gardens and stalls, socialise and lounge on the grass while they eat and drink their freshly made, picked, brewed, laid, baked and grown purchases, or seek shelter under the shade of nearby trees on hotter days.
To uproot all of that and plonk it into, essentially, a large tent in a bare field would appear to be a rather ridiculous – perhaps the more appropriate term would be “half-baked” – idea.
It would be killing the goose that lays their golden eggs!
What are they thinking??
Hawke’s Bay deserves better!