Garden Gala and Markets at Macksville woos massive crowd

THE MACKSVILLE Showground was heaving today in a riot of plants, ornaments and community as people came from all over for the annual Garden Gala and Markets.

Rain overnight did little to dampen the spirits – and why should it, given the softer ground would have been cherished by those with armfuls of new annuals, shrubs and trees to plant.

That didn’t stop one wag from chirping that his wife had bought a citrus tree and he’d sent her back off to purchase a hole.

The gala is a fundraiser for the local hospital and Show Society secretary John Harris – one of many volunteers on the gate – explained that much effort had been put into ensuring that no two stalls were the same.

“It’s great that they have their individual specialties – and we also have a parcel pick-up service so people don’t have to carry larger items around with them until they are ready to go,” John told the Guardian.

In the pavillions, there were flowers and chooks and an array of workshops and guest speakers.

Outdoors, there was a throng of excited people – including visitors from as far afield as Sapphire Beach and Raymond Terrace through to Vietnam.

One ‘visitor’ was Greg Bradley, who was born at Macksville Hospital and grew up in Bowraville.

“I reckon it’s been 60 years since I’ve been to this showground,” the now young 70-year-old offered.

Among the stalls was the Bowraville Macksville United Hospital Auxiliary – and they were flogging a book of recipes put together by local branch members.

“Most of the recipes are from the ladies who work in the coffee shop at the Hospital Carpark Cafe,” Karen Reinten said.

Gayle McMahon: “So they’ve all been well and truly tested.”

This local book of culinary delights should go as fast at hotcakes, and can be had for just $15 at the hospital cafe.

Enjoy the gallery.

And if you want to see the gallery from last year – you’ll find it here.

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