Come one, come all, to the Bathurst Country Affair

THE Bathurst Country Affair (BCA) is finally upon us and there is much to see and enjoy with this special event, taking place from Friday until Sunday.

MERRY MEN: Town criers Andre Malan, left, and Shane Steenkamp doing the rounds at the Bathurst Country Affair last year Picture: JON HOUZET

There is certainly something for everyone. Set in the quaint village of Bathurst the events start on Friday at 5pm with a twilight market where you can walk around the CBD among the many exhibitors, grab a bite to eat and pop in at the shops that will be staying open for late trading.

At 5.30pm, witness Lauren Brunette as she locks herself in a cage to raise awareness on animal abuse while raising funds for the SPCA. Take in a show with a stellar performance by Corinne Willoughby entitled Living it up at the Heartbreak Café, at Lara’s Eatery on the Village Green.

Visit the Ruanthai Restaurant for dinner (phone 072-431-1831 to book), take a trip to the beer garden and wine tastings at the Village Green or enjoy some live music by Harry Lloyd at the Historic Pig and Whistle as well as live music by Barry and Annie at Lara’s Eatery. Those wanting to belt out some beats of their own can make their way to The 60s Pub at 8pm for some karaoke (Carry Your Okie).

On Saturday, all day long the town criers will be out and about notifying all of impending events. There is the Children’s Amazing Playground to keep the little ones busy as well as exhibitors at The Pink Lady Milkshake Parlour. Relax the day away at the beer garden in the fire pool garden at the back of the Historic Pig and Whistle, Harry Lloyd will be playing live music while you sample some craft beers or you can visit the busker’s stage at The 60’s Pub and pop in to see how Lauren is doing in her cage.

Visit The Settler Photo Booth at Relix and get a picture with Pablo and Pepito, the two Bathurst alpacas. Also available are pony rides, face painting, jumping castle, portraits by Gage and more kiddies fun at The Green Down Under. On Saturday from 7 – 9am is registration for The Awesome Dog Show at The Green Down Under with categories such as Happy Family at 9am, oldest dog at 9.30am, cutest dog at 10am, obedience and tricks at 10.30am, fancy dress at 11am, followed by prize giving at 11.30am. You can also visit the Just Off Centre open studio and tea garden and see copper plate etching by artist Sandy Thomas.

Don’t forget to check in to see if Lauren Brunette is still alive in her cage

On Saturday at 9am The Village Green opens, with many activities such as wine tastings, craft beer, fabulous food, exhibitors and more. Ezzy’s Coffee Shop will also be open for breakfast and at 11am make your way to the Pineapple Throwing competition at The Big Pineapple – make sure to get there early to enter. Also at 11am is The Amazing Race, a horse race with a difference, starting at The Ploughman and from 12 – 2pm is the Singleton whiskey tasting in the Fire Pool Garden at the Pig and Whistle.

Parents can enter their three to six-year-olds in the My Little Faerie competition which takes place at the Fig and Daisy at 12 noon. Visit Trawlers Take-a-Ways where a pig on the spit will be ready at 12 noon and enter their lucky draw. At 2.30pm The Wood Fired Mystery Basket Cook-Off starts at The Fire Pool Garden at the Pig and Whistle.  The Pro-Carmine Choir will perform a selection of music from ancient to modern at St Johns Church at 2.30pm. The entry fee is donated to the Sunshine Coast Feeding Scheme.

MECHANICAL BEAST: Bathurst Agricultural Museum chairman Alan Pike led the parade of tractors at the Bathurst Country Affair last year Picture: JON HOUZET

There is much more to see with the “Shake, Rattle & Roll” vintage tractor and classic car parade starting at the Bathurst Agricultural Museum and ending at the Bathurst Green. The Brawn, Beard, Beer competition takes place at The Ploughman at the museum, followed by a barn dance. Exhibitors close at 5pm so make your way to the Ruanthai Restaurant for dinner but be sure to book your seat. The venue is unlicensed to remember to bring your own alcoholic beverages.

On Sunday you can wind down with the many activities at the Children’s Amazing Playground and the various exhibitors at The Pink Lady Milkshake Parlour, the beer garden at the Historic Pig and Whistle, buskers at The 60s Pub and pop in to see if Lauren Brunette is still alive in her cage.

The Exotic Pet Show will have registration between 7 – 9am at The Green Down Under with categories including the cutest pet at 9am, fancy dress at 10am, the strangest pet at 11am, followed by prize giving at 11.30am.

During the BCA you can visit the Bathurst Convenient Store which will be open to provide you with home-made pies, biltong, koeksisters, samoosas, springrolls, slush puppy, soft serve and their fantastic take away menu which includes slap chips for only R14.

PLEASING TASTES: From left, Cheryl and Dudley van der Spuy and Bessie Mears enjoyed a cappuccino and gourmet snacks at the Bathurst Country Affair last year Picture: JON HOUZET

After such a wonderful event you may find yourself having fallen in love with Bathurst, so if you’re looking to stay in Bathurst a bit longer than the weekend, then contact principal of Independent Property Consultants (IPC) Gill Turner. Turner opened the Bathurst office in 2008 and nine years later, IPC is the leading estate agency in the village. The Bathurst office is situated next to the Pig n Whistle and is managed by Turner’s sister, Jacqui, who has her NQF4 and PDE certificates in real estate.

Apart from sales, IPC Bathurst also has a rental division. Speak to an estate agency that understands your needs and will do their utmost to fulfil them. Speak to IPC, as they know the area and the people and will give you the professional advice you would expect from one of the Eastern Cape’s most successful franchises. So whether you are buying, selling or renting, call Jacqui on 083-651-7462 or Gill on 082-450-7720.

Fresh from Grahamstown’s National Art Festival, The Workshop Art & Craft Gallery is privileged to show new oils, watercolours, charcoal and ink drawings by well-known artist Nicky Rosselli, and beautiful new fused glass plates and platters by Susan Alexander of George.  They have introduced two new artists, Sally Brown and Brent Carpenter, and are also welcoming back renowned adventuress Anna Woolf’s art and sculpture.  Exciting new stock is coming in all the time, including a new supplier from Darling on the West Coast, of pure mohair hand-woven scarves, shawls and blankets.  Also expected to arrive shortly is a new consignment of the very popular recycled aluminium salad servers, trivets and Ndoro plates from Zimbabwe.

Take a break from the crowds and visit the Bathurst Farmers’ Market opens every Sunday, rain or shine. This market, set under the coral trees among beautiful gardens, is a sociable gathering place of friendly locals who love getting their fresh veggies, bread and other delectable delights from the helpful stallholders. The talented crafters put vibrant colour into the area with their beautiful beaded objects, gorgeous tablecloths, jewellery, handbags, clothing and so much more.

The Rocky Ridge Farm Stall, located on the R67 (halfway to Bathurst) is where you will find egg-cellent  free range eggs, bric-a-brac, cakes, pancakes, boerierolls, sweets, savouries, preserves, leatherware, as well as a kiddies playground and much more. Open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 2pm.


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