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A history of the Martinborough Fair

The Martinborough Fairs were the brainchild of members of the Greytown Rotary Club, and in 1977 the first Fairs began in Martinborough with just 35 stalls. In order to attract stallholders the Fairs were promoted in  Manawatu and Wellington.

Today the reputation of the Fairs means demand for stalls exceeds sites available. More than 25000 people flock to Martinborough from Wellington, Wairarapa,  New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North and Hawkes Bay.

The basic philosophy and objectives behind the Fairs has changed little since 1977.

The Fairs' objectives are to:
  • give craftspeople a chance to display and sell their wares
  • give Wairarapa charities a chance to raise funds from a wider range of customers that they usually have
  • provide Rotary South Wairarapa with funds to give to charities, especially those in South Wairarapa, and with special emphasis on the provision of opportunities for young people.
 The Martinborough Fairs provide a focus to publicise Martinborough, the South Wairarapa, and Rotary.
South Wairarapa Rotary through its Martinborough Fair Trust holds the management and ownership of the Martinborough Fairs. The club contracts numerous community groups to assist on Fair days to handle parking, and other operational matters.