Record crowd for Summerland House Farm Country Fair
A QUEUE of families outside Summerland House Farm by 8.30am yesterday was the first sign its annual Country Fair would attract a record crowd this year.
About 15,000 people attended the fair, well above expectations of the 10,000 that attended last year.
"We wanted to match last year and we certainly exceeded that," Brett Lacey, general manager of the House with No Steps (NSW), said.
"I was absolutely rapt that the community has got behind the day, and come out to show their support," Mr Lacey said.
"The quality of the acts has been well appreciated by the public," he said.
A clear and sunny day helped attract a strong crowd, he said.
"It is a critical opportunity for the Summerland House Farm to showcase what it is all about: providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities," Mr Lacey said.
"We could not ask for anything more, it is great it is something people want to be a part of," he said.
"Pulling together the event was a massive task, we couldn't have done it without all the staff, volunteers and sponsors."
Other community groups including the Rural Fire Service helped.
"We really appreciate everyone's support" Mr Lacey said.
Julie Woods from Lismore was at the show with her disabled daughter Lucy, her sisters and father.
Lucy attends the day program at the farm.
"There are not many things that Lucy can appreciate but this is one of them," Ms Woods said.
"It's bursting with colour, food and cakes, and lots of people with smiling faces," she said.
Lara Lange, from Alstonville attended with her husband and baby.
"It's an awesome day. We came last year and it just gets bigger and better," Ms Lange said.
"It's pretty fun, all the live music, plus all the food," she said.
By midday the fair had a festival atmosphere as people enjoyed a vast array of entertainment and food.
Gardening guru Costa Georgiadis gave a talk and planted out a new herb garden attached to the restaurant at the farm.
A new attraction this year was the Mr Rental chill-out zone, especially for teenagers.
The X-Factor contestant "Nathaniel" singing was the headline act, but the High School Battle of the Bands was also a highlight.
Event marketing manager Lisa Murphy said the focus for growing the festival was to provide something for all age groups.