Live music; colourful clothes, accessories and toys; a bouncy castle; hula hoops; temporary tattoos and family fun – the Gypsy Fair returned to Alexandra this weekend after 12 years away.
Co-owner Kristin Gray, for whom the fair is both home and family, said the effects of Covid-19 about halved the number of participants at this year’s “small but mighty” fair.
Unlike markets, the fair “family” are contracted for September through May and live in their house-trucks as they roam both islands of New Zealand.
In the winter months, at least pre-Covid and border closures, she travelled to different countries to buy her stock for each year.
Mrs Gray’s biological family is also a mainstay of the fair, with her and husband, Dave Woods, running adjacent stalls in Pioneer Park in Alexandra, while son Oskar Gray and daughter Grace Woods fed the crowd from a food truck.
Mrs Gray said the fair had previously set up in Wanaka when they visited Central Otago but that was under the former owners.
“Now that I’m owner, we’re changing things up and going to different places,” she said.
Brother and sister Theo and Bonnie were enjoying the fair on Saturday with their parents, Ben and Mikki Rohde.
Bonnie chose mermaid face-painting but Theo said, “I’m going to be a shark.”
For older girls Naz Kavanagh (7) and Willow Pont (8), there with their separate family groups, temporary body markings were also a big attraction.
Asked individually what the best part of the fair was for them, each was adamant -“tattoos.”