September 18, 2014
From fashion to floral art, and celebrity authors to cookery tips and tricks – there will be something for everyone in the new-look Country Lifestyle pavilion at the field days this year.
The Country Lifestyle pavilion will have a tar sealed floor for the first time in 49 years thanks to field days principal sponsor Moane Fitzgerald Constructions, Wagga Wagga.
Country Lifestyle co-ordinator Leonie Kohlhagen said exhibitors and visitors would appreciate the firm, all-weather footing.
This year more than 70 exhibitors have taken sites in the Country Lifestyle pavilion and over 44 in the Extra Tent.
Country Lifestyle had its beginnings in 1965 under the guidance of Riverina Group Country Women’s Association representative Joan Meyer.
Joan and her band of volunteers from the Henty branch of the CWA went on to organise fashion parades and demonstrations for the next 30 years.
Cooking demonstrations were staged by the regional county council to highlight the use of electricity on the farm.
Guest speakers covered the latest spring hairstyles, table settings, interior designs and craft.
Over the decades, the concept developed into two large marquees, each in excess of 88 metres in length, and located in Petticoat Lane.
The original tent, now known as the Country Lifestyle pavilion, has been run by Lyn Jacobsen and a team of Riverina Group CWA members for the past 13 years while the other, known as ET, is run Joy Granger, Wagga Wagga.
This year, the ET tent is filled with over 44 lifestyle, educational, tourism, community, health and medical exhibitors.
An expanding program and the growing popularity of the Natural Fibre Fashion Awards led to the appointment of Leonie Kohlhagen, of Collingullie, as joint Country Lifestyle co-ordinator.
Fashion parades have been consistently popular with field day visitors, sowing the seed for the launch of the Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards in 2004.
Today, the competition is one of the major natural fibre awards in NSW, attracting entries from most states of Australia.
Demonstrations covering a vast array of topics are held between the parades, keeping a vibrant tempo in the pavilion.
Among the demonstrators invited this year is Oura resident Ann Adams, a CWA cookery entrant and judge, who will show how to make perfect cheese, chutney and ham scones.
She will be joined by another CWA cookery judge Josie Kilpatrick, of North Albury, Albury cake decorator Kate Aldridge and florists Judy and Joanne Knoble.
“Sewing enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a masterclass workshop sponsored by Bernina and featuring Wodonga fashion designer Cathy Upton,’’ Mrs Jacobsen said.
“There are plenty of demonstrations planned, some in cooking and crafts, plus there will be musical entertainment, speakers on various medical issues and some surprises.’’
Bernina have provided an Activa 215 sewing machine as an encouragement prize for the student judged as presenting the best garment in the Natural Fibres Award.
A key guest speaker this year is best selling Australian rural author Rachael Treasure who will launch her latest novel, Cleanskin Cowgirls, on Wednesday at 2pm.
Other guest speakers this year are the founder and chief executive officer of national transport charity Trans-Help Foundation, Dianne Carroll, Albury mother and founder of Angels for the Forgotten Melina Skidmore, gardening guru Adrian Podmore, NBN Co government and stakeholder relations manager Joe Dennis and CWA NSW immediate past president Elaine Armstrong.
The Country Lifestyle program runs from 10am to 3pm each day.