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Fieldays faithful: stories and traditions

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Every year, more than 100,000 people head to Mystery Creek for New Zealand’s iconic four-day agri-event Fieldays®

Visitors look forward to the return of fan-favourite attractions, such as the various Fieldays competitions, and a chance to see the latest innovation and technology on offer.

Fieldays is also the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. Regardless of who you talk to and regardless of where they come from, it seems just about everybody has a Fieldays memory or story.

Whether attending as a child on the back of their granddad’s shoulders, getting mud all over their boots during a particularly wet year, or wandering up and down the streets checking out the latest utes and state-of-the-art farming equipment, the stories are plentiful.

With many visitors coming from the surrounding upper North Island, data shows that more and more visitors are travelling from all over the country, including the bottom of the North Island and the deep South.

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Bronwyn Weir’s nephews, Beauden and Jayden, checking out heavy machinery at Fieldays

Among international guests and curious townies, regular out-of-town visitors, fondly referred to as the ‘Fieldays Faithful’, make the journey to Fieldays every year.

Bronwyn Weir (from Wellington) has been attending consecutively for more than 30 years now. She first started coming down from Auckland to visit her dad who was working on-site as an exhibitor. Later, as an adult, it stayed part of the tradition. Now, every year, the family makes the trip to Mystery Creek to reconnect with each other and with industry friends made over the years. Spending this time together is a treasured moment, as the event also happens to coincide with some key family birthdays, including Bronwyn’s.

Nowadays Bronwyn flies to Hamilton and stays with her sister, who lives in Cambridge with her family. The family attends at least two of the four days, continuing traditions and making memories. The next generation is now in tow with her nine- and seven-year-old nephews enjoying their Fieldays visits with gumboots on and cattle sticks in hand. The family has fond memories of the former tractor drag racing and excavator competitions. In fact, so strong are their links to this event and the rural sector that they proudly have a cousin who won the excavator competition as well as another who won a regional heat in a further agricultural competition held at Fieldays.

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Tractor Pull is a firm favourite among Fieldays’ attendees

“The boys spent most of the time around by the heavy machinery area and had a ball. Being able to see those massive diggers up close blew their mind. Not even a bribe of some hot chips would help move them,” said Bronwyn.
“It’s not just Fieldays in their blood; it’s diesel.”

Niklaas Jacob (from Auckland) moved to New Zealand as a retired farmer from South Africa. Since selling up and relocating to be closer to his children, the 60-plus-year-old says that farming will always run through his veins.

To him, Fieldays is a lifeline, connecting him with his former life and career. Having lived on a farm his entire life, he’s passionate about the industry, and an event like Fieldays helps him keep his finger on the pulse, keep up to date and be aware of how the sector is changing, but most of all, it has become a way to keep his farming memories alive and share his stories with his family and others.

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Top fencers battle it out at the Fieldays Fencing Competition

This year will be Niklaas’ 11th trip to Fieldays. He claims he will never miss one and will be there rain, hail, or shine, as he joins many others making the downhill trek to create new memories.

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