Raglan Lions Op Shop has stepped up this year to take first place in the town’s Fieldays window display competition, winning $500 to plough back into the community.
Local Lions president Bob McLeod told the Chronicle he was delighted with the efforts of the volunteers who staff the Wallis Street shop, which on Monday – the day competition winners were announced – was still proudly displaying its runner-up certificate from 2011.
The cash, Bob said, would “certainly go back into the community”, on an as yet-to-be decided project which would most likely involve the town’s youth.
The Big Little Town theme this time around was to reflect the changing face of farming, and the op shop has a windowful of iconic Kiwi items on display including a couple of mannikins which looked like they’d just stepped out of a farmyard or farmhouse of old.
Second prize of $250 went to Bow Street Gallery, which featured in its shop window an ancient-looking cream can and an innovative letterbox made from an old vacuum pump.
Owner David Yorston perhaps got more than he’d expected, telling the Chronicle he entered the competition both this and last year only in the hope of scoring the odd ticket to the Fieldays, which is now on at Mystery Creek.
Third place from the town’s 10 participating retailers went to last year’s winners, Rob Galloway and Marie de Jong of Soul Shoes, with a comical pink pig or two staring out from the shop window and a farmer in his swanni reading the Fieldays Focus. The couple won $50 and a bottle of wine.
Including the event’s newspaper in the display was one of the criteria set for the competition which covered eight regional towns, all contributing to Fieldays by showing their community spirit to visitors.
Competition co-ordinator Jacqui Cooper said Fieldays depends on “the support and hard work of staff in local visitor information centres who liaise with retailers in each town … It goes to show the nature of the people in our Waikato towns, and exactly why we are proud to say that Waikato Big Little Towns are at the heart of Fieldays.”