WWI fair recreated

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One hundred years on from World War I, Founders Heritage Park is recreating a distinctly Nelson war-time fair.

During the First World War, events were held in Nelson to raise funds for wounded soldiers, including street parades down Trafalgar St, signing of the Red Cross flag, Apple Day, and patriotic concerts in the Theatre Royal.

One of those events – Apple Day – will come to life again this year with a range of exhibitions and activities, including variety shows of comic sketches and songs of the time, through to a street tea party with games including apple bobbing and hoop ‘n stick.

Organiser Maria Anderson says the Apple Day was a uniquely Nelson event. “Apples were a really big thing in Nelson back then. It was all about ‘bring your apples after the harvest and we’ll on-sell them and the profits will go to the families of wounded soldiers’.”

She says the plan was to recreate the community spirit of the home front from 100 years ago.

Community bands will be playing on the village green and selected produce will be available from the Farmers Market. Nelson’s local re-enactment army group will also be dispatched.

Cars and motorbikes from the WWI era will also be there. Members of Nelson’s Vintage Car Club will present cars including a 1912 Rover, a 1915 Ford Model T, a 1918 Buick and a 1911 Mitchell. And four bikes from NZ Classic Motorcycles will also be on display, including a 1918 Excelsior and sidecar, 1914 Royal Ruby, 1911 Royal Enfield, and a 1915 New Hudson.

Other partners include the Red Cross, who will be re-creating the Red Cross Flag Signing where the public can sign the flag, a replica of the original flag signed in 1915 has been supplied by Nelson Provincial Museum.

Local wine group Wakatu Small Sips are also planning an apple juicing demonstration.

The fair will be held on Monday, April 27 at Founders Heritage Park, from 10am to 3.30pm. Entrance is $5 per person or $10 for families.