Annual markets organiser thrilled

By Cheryl Riley

Wildfoods Festival Hokitika market day organiser Linda Brake says this year was one of the best and the Gibson Quay location was ideal.
“We have had to move from Gibson Quay to the town site at Weld and Revell Street, back to Gibson Quay, back again to the town site and now — finally, I hope — back to Gibson Quay.”
Mrs Brake said as far as she was concerned, the Gibson Quay site was better all round.
“The market day is very popular, with a lot of permanent bookings from all over the country, some from as far away as Auckland.”
This year the maximum 68 stalls, each 3m x 3m were taken up for the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday markets, and everyone was happy, she said.
“You know it’s going well when stallholders are keen to book in for next year on the day.
“This year was one of the best. It was a really, really good year, not just finance wise but the atmosphere, the stallholders, everything.”
Mrs Brake has been a volunteer market day organiser for the past nine years.
“It’s something I enjoy doing and I like to give back to the community; everyone should give back to the community.”
All market day organising money earned goes back into the community.
Girl Guides, the BMX Track, Plunket (twice), the Toy Library, Kids First, Kaniere Playcentre, Search and Rescue and, this year, Keas and the Harihari Scouts have all benefited from the market day efforts.
“We have given away a total of $35,000; our worst year was $2500 and our best was $5500.”
Mrs Brake begins market day preparations in September and as time draws closer she is helped by her daughter, Cindy Flemming.
The market day also gives out free condoms, provided by Crown Public Health.
“Last year, we gave out more than 2000.”
The market day has become so popular that stallholders are invited to participate, which has eliminated “problem people” over the years, Mrs Brake said.
“Now the market is full of fascinating, talented people and there are very few problems.”