From fashion to floral art, and celebrity speakers to cookery tips, there will be something for everyone in the Country Lifestyle pavilion this year.
Country Lifestyle is a celebrating the completion of a new permanent structure, allowing exhibitors from both the Country Lifestyle and ET (Extra Tent) marquees to be housed under the one roof.
The new 120m x 18m long shed will also be used to stage seminars and trade displays at year round events at the field day site.
The shed has a sealed floor and a 387,000 litre rainwater tank for supplying water across the field day site.
Country Lifestyle co-ordinator Lyn Jacobsen said exhibitors and visitors would appreciated the firm, all-weather flooring, wide pedestrian aisles and weather-proof comfort.
This year 105 exhibitors with more than 481m of shop front have taken sites in the Country Lifestyle pavilion.
New compere joining the team this year for the fashion parades is Peta Schaefer while Albury DJ Steve Bowen will once again provide the music.
Mrs Jacobsen said the idea of having a large, new shed was an exciting step for Country Lifestyle.
“The wider walkways will make it a lot roomier and less congested when walking around,’’ she said.
“The skylights along the northern side will let in plenty of natural light plus power points will be easier to access – years ago not many stalls required electricity unlike today.’’
Mrs Jacobsen said the sealed floor was a welcome addition, reducing dust from the heavy foot traffic.
“When the floor was unsealed, each morning I would use a watering can and bucket to dampen down the aisles,’’ she said.
The aim of the Country Lifestyle program was always to entertain, inform and educate.
The Country Lifestyle pavilion has been run by Lyn Jacobsen and a team of Riverina Group CWA members for the past 15 years while the other, known as the ET, is run by Jane Lieschke.
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.
Mrs Kohlhagen said the new Country Lifestyle pavilion was well lit and spacious.
“There will be even more shopping options in Country Lifestyle this year,’’ she said.
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 Australia, attracting international entries for the first time last year.
Demonstrations covering a vast array of topics are held between the parades, keeping a vibrant tempo in the pavilion.
To mark the occasion of the 40th field day at the permanent Cookardinia Road site, a fashion parade featuring garments from the mid 1970s will be held on the Country Lifestyle catwalk each day.
Among the demonstrators invited this year is florists Judy and Joanne Knoble and Wagga pastry chef George Parkins.
Circus performer Marcella Schuener will dazzle the crowds with her dynamic hoop routine while Matthew Johnstone, from the Black Dog Institute, will speak on mental health.
Karen Lenehan will speak on the topic of “Conscious living and moon gardening’’, Jo Lucchessi will outline how to dress for comfort and confidence.
Australian rural romance author Fiona Palmer will launch her latest novel, The Family Secret, and Disney animator and artist Adam Murphy will speak on his career working on famous animated movies, including the Lego Movie series.
“Sewing enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a masterclass workshop sponsored by Bernina and featuring Wodonga fashion designer Cathy Upton,’’ Mrs Jacobsen said.