Manager appointed for Cherry Chaos event

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Teviot Valley’s Cherry Chaos, a celebration of all things cherry, will go ahead in January next year, following the appointment of event manager Martin McPherson.

Cherry Chaos had not been held this year as there was no-one to act as event manager, despite the role being advertised.

The event celebrates cherries and the fruit’s contribution to the Teviot Valley.

Teams from packhouses and orchards compete in an obstacle race and tug-of-war, while there are cherry slides and a cherry baking competition.

Vast quantities of cherries are thrown and squished.

Teviot Prospects chairman John Rowley said the committee was pleased Mr McPherson had agreed to take on the role.

“Martin brings professionalism and he does a good job [with the Blossom Festival],” Mr Rowley said.

“We are delighted he has agreed to be Cherry Chaos’s event manager.”

He said Mr McPherson’s name was put forward during a community board meeting, when members were discussing the difficulties facing the event.

“We had the committee and volunteer workers, we just needed someone to manage the event,” Mr Rowley said.

“Someone suggested Martin, who was doing an excellent job of the Blossom Festival.”

Mr McPherson, who organised and managed Alexandra’s annual Blossom Festival, said he was “volunteered”, but was also pleased to be involved with Cherry Chaos.

“I had my hand put up for me,” Mr McPherson said.

He said it was a quiet time for Blossom Festival organisation, although there were a few inquiries coming through and he already had two float entries for next year’s event.

Former Cherry Chaos event manager Brigitte Paterson had written a comprehensive document about organising the event, which he found helpful.

“My main job will be to tee up sponsorship and get some money, as we have a fairly tight budget and timeline.”

He thought his involvement would be about 100 hours.

“This time I am just going to look at it and replicate what has been done before.

“If they want me back next year, I will have a better idea [of] what can be done and will make some suggestions.

“I have watched a couple of YouTube clips and it looks hilarious.”

He said he had already persuaded Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan to be the MC for the next event, to be held on the Roxburgh sportsgrounds on January 13.

Mr Rowley said a local business person had already made an anonymous donation of $1000 towards the event.

He said the event entertained the students, Vanuatuans and other orchard workers who contributed so much to harvesting the cherries.

The committee would be looking at further developing the cherry baking competition, as well as the cherry spitting event.

Volunteers are being sought to help.