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March 2002, Volume 13, Number 3
Cavalcade Rolls into Middlemarch Community
As the Otago Goldfields Cavalcade descended on Middlemarch in early March, the small community prepared itself for every type of participant possible...
There were riders who had braved nine days on horseback, those who had taken the three-day trail, heavy wagoners, walkers and cyclists -- and each hit the town with their own set of needs.
“It is a wonderful model for economic development,” says host town committee spokesperson Kate Wilson.
She says that organising to cater for the 580 diverse visitors was demanding, but a challenge the Middlemarch community took on with energy. “We organised the entertainment, dinner, hoe-down and accommodation -- a difficult task when you don’t know the definite numbers of people coming until right on the day.”
Two community projects, supported by the Otago Community Trust and the Community Employment Group, were launched on the day. A blacksmith was working in a new forge and a vintage machinery museum was opened.
Kate says that CEG fieldworker Julie Pearse’s advice and support was wonderful in helping to organise the event.
“She is such a great backstop with ideas and helpfulness.”
Julie says the town was buzzing for the event. “Residents were out in force.”
Kate, who has spearheaded numerous community events, including the hugely successful bachelor hoe-down which attracted world-wide media interest, says she is having a break from organising community events.
“Every successful town needs a cafe. I’m going to try to start one in Middlemarch.”
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