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Shop owners, local community groups, young talented children and residents both young and old all came together for the Castlecrag Community Fair on Sunday 3 June. They were pretty much unanimous in declaring the 2007 Fair a great success!

We were fortunate in having beautiful fine day, large crowds descended on our suburb and they had a great variety of entertainment, information and craft stalls, and children’s activities to experience. The restaurants and stores aligning the streets of Edinburgh Road opened their doors to their friendly community with rows of stalls erected.

Whether you were after food, information on local pests or weeds or wanted to pick up some second hand clothing – you would have found it all on this entertaining day.

Willoughby mayor Pat Reilly got proceedings going at 10am by officially opening the new Watergate Walking Trail and the Fair. “It was a great day for a Fair in the historic suburb of Castlecrag,” he said and “the Castlecrag Progress Association has done a great job in bringing together all the community groups and the local businesses of the area to stage this event.” Cr Reilly thanked all those who had helped organise the event and sponsored the Fair, which he said “demonstrated the high level of community interest and support for the event”.

Children of the neighbourhood were entertained on a ride, some were eating cake made by local residents and others were gathered to watch the local girls perform to the beat of Christina Aguilera’s “Candy man”. The bungi jumping was a key attraction for children from the outset, the Wildlife Show held the attention of youngsters from 11am. Sally’s Bookshop offered a book reading of Oscar and Quincy by the author Kerry Millard, much to the delight of smiling young faces.

There was a real buzz around the Fair site throughout the day. Many visitors took time to relax with friends at our coffee shops, taste the wines on offer or explore our shops. The crowd in The Crag was also entertained by the local talented group Saving Grace, one member of which is a son of Pam of Pams’ Café fame. Others came to learn more about Castlecrag’s history and special features by joining one of the guided walks of the suburb.

The day brought many people through the doors of the boutique. The proprietor Sally Crawford said: “we have had lots of locals coming into the store to have a look at our books.”

Jeff Pharar, who has taken over ownership of Romano’s Restaurant said: “it has just been a great opportunity today to get to meet more of the locals in Castlecrag. A lot of the faces are familiar, but we definitely don’t know everybody” he said.

The community stalls offered an amazing variety of information and fund-raising activities. James Smallhorn, Council’s Environmental Projects Officer who grew up in Castlecrag, was assisting other Council staff on the pen Space Branch stall, which provided information leaflets on the local walking tracks, volunteer wildlife and weeding regimes and the highly successful Sustainability Street program. Sustainability Street brings residents together to reduce the impact on their environment.

A number of our community groups have reported that, from their perspective, the Fair was most successful, both in terms of the interest shown by the public and the funds raised to support their ongoing activities.

The Council-led walk along the Watergate Walking Trail got under way immediately after the opening, while Adrienne and John Kabos and Bob McKillop led four walks of the Griffin Conservation Area during the day. It was evident that the participants had come to the Fair to learn more about our suburb, many of them coming from Middle Cove, Castle Cove and North Willoughby, but there were others from further afield, including the Canada Bay Council area. Bob McKillop found two of his old university friends who had come from Perth on the first walk, so this group received ‘special attention’ in an extended walk that lasted 2½ hours!

Jacqueline Levett and Bob McKillop