If you travel into the deepest, darkest depths of the western suburbs of Brisbane, you will eventually arrive at a small community called Moggill. Once a year Moggill has a fete. That once a year was yesterday.
I live quite close to Moggill, so there are no prizes for guessing where we went on Sunday. But I’ll tell you this, for a sleepy little suburb way out west, it was busy!
“So what! You’ve had a fete. We have them all the time in England, don’t you remember?”
Yes I do. We used to have a fete (or fair) show up twice a year and set up their rides in the field opposite where I lived. There would be about eight to 10 rides and a whole host of stalls where you are challenged (aggressively invited sometimes) to win a goldfish or a cuddly toy.
I’ve also been to the local school fetes in England with stalls selling tomato plants, second-hand books, cups of tea and offering a lucky dip. This fete at Moggill was a good mixture of the two.
Preparations started probably four or five months ago and involved as many people as they could get to participate. There is much home cooking and baking, it’s a big communal effort. Just like a school fete.
But then there were the professional rides. They were called Climbing Wall, Storm, Simulator, Bat Tower, Alien Laser Game, Merry Go Round, Super Slide, Jungle Jive Castle, Jungle Fever Castle and Pony Rides. Or in simple English, bouncy stuff, climbing stuff, fast spinning stuff, a whizzy up and down thing, scary tall stuff, some frightening digital stuff and pony rides. Just like a commercial fete.
Entry was free. My wife and daughter went at about 10.30 in the morning and stayed until it closed at 4 o’clock. My little girl had a wristband for unlimited rides on everything and that cost just $25 (£12). The place was packed with kids who all had a great day. And the profits went towards the school.
All in all it was a big success. Now we have to wait a whole year for the next one.