Meander Valley Gazette

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Fair fills the town

News, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Funds from this year’s Craft Fair will purchase a battery operated ‘jaws of life’ for Meander Valley SES to speed up the time taken to release crash victims.

Funds from this year’s Craft Fair will purchase a battery operated ‘jaws of life’ for Meander Valley SES to speed up the time taken to release crash victims.

IT’S WELL known the Tasmanian Craft Fair is the largest working craft fair in the Southern Hemisphere, but as the event moves toward its 40th year it’s time we all knew the impact it already has on our local region, and there’s more to come.

From a visitor point of view, during the Craft Fair all accommodation is fully booked in the Meander Valley and areas such as Launceston and Devonport are heavily booked as well. Restaurants are fully booked for meals. “We do know that a lot of local families also host friends who visit from across Tasmania or interstate and we’d love to see more of that to add to the numbers who can attend” says this year’s Fair Director, Lesley Dare.

The fair, which is an initiative of the Rotary Club of Deloraine, also utilises local tradespeople to make the event happen, including electricians, sign writers, builders and cleaners in addition to local bus companies and the hiring of local venues. The traffic management over the 4 days is managed beautifully by the SES. Whilst the fair hires the organisation for that role, in addition this year the fair will fund a Jaws of Life rescue apparatus to assist in emergency responses, which will undoubtedly save lives.

The benefits are broad for the whole community, and approximately 500 volunteers will work on set up, cleaning, pull down, managing gates and managing each of the 9 venues. To organise and run a craft fair each year takes approx. 10,000 volunteer hours. Some 23 service and local community organisations receive a donation for their services. These organisations include local schools, churches, Rotary Clubs, Lions and Apex. If that’s not enough, the fair also helps to put Deloraine, the Meander Valley and the Great Western Tiers on the bucket list for visitors all year round. Lesley adds

“We ask that our fellow Tasmanians recognise the efforts of so many to deliver a quality event every year. We plan to keep evolving and our sponsors are helping us make it known as an event of national significance. Hopefully locals will share our social media posts, or make a phone call and invite friends from abroad to come and visit.”