A fair bit of fun to be had
IT'S a sociable time of year and the St Patrick's Fair to be held next Friday is gearing up to be a fun-filled evening of games, stalls and get-togethers - and a new Pimm's tent resplendent with antique lighting.
Fair coordinator Francie Hartley said the community spirit on the night would be "absolutely fabulous” and would provide a relaxing family opportunity to let the children run around and sit back and enjoy the night.
"It's a real fun, country family atmosphere that everyone loves and everyone is welcome to come and join in,” she said.
The St Patrick's Fair is the annual fundraiser for the Catholic parish.
"It's our one and only fundraiser for the year,” Ms Hartley said.
"With the wonderful support of Marist College, StPatrick's and St Brigid's Primary Schools, our tireless volunteers, individual donations and the amazing generosity of our local businesses, money raised enables the parish to maintain and carry out improvements on the church and its facilities.”
She said next year St Patrick's Catholic Church will celebrate 130 years in Emerald.
"For nearly that length of time the Catholic community of Emerald has celebrated with a social gathering of the community, which in the latter years became the St Patrick's Fair,” Ms Hartley said.
"Back in the early days, activities such as billy-cart races and Finch's Flyer, a home-made carousel, provided loads of fun.”
Ms Hartley said this year the fair would have an amusement rides gallery - the second largest to the Emerald show - and plenty of family fun activities.
"This good old-fashioned fair meets the interests of every age group, including lots of opportunities to grab a bargain, win a Christmas ham, buy a hand-crafted Christmas gift or simply catch up with friends,” she said.
There will be stalls with home-made cakes and sweets, plants and produce and a range of food outlets, including snow cones and the Filipino Community Food Van serving home-made noodles and spring rolls.
The major raffle this year is a holiday for two adults and two children to Hamilton Island, valued at $2480.
The prize includes accommodation, buffet breakfast daily (plus kids stay and eat for free), return airport/marina transfers, use of water sports activities and a $1000 Virgin airfare voucher (which can be used for any air travel).
Tickets are $2, selling on the night, with the draw at 8pm.
The cent sale will have amazing prizes including Toyota Cowboys supporter shirts, a sterling silver, green amethyst and cubic zirconia ring valued at $229, unique and classic items from Ellenmave Vintage and Antiques, $1000 in vouchers from local business, toys for kids, tools for dad and loads of beautiful items for mum and the home.
For the first time the fair will also introduce the Pimm's Bar with its signature drink, the Pimm's punch.
Ms Hartley said adults could relax under the vintage lighting at the bar and enjoy the live entertainment.
The fair will start at 5.30pm at St Patrick's oval.