In 1974, the parents and staff of Birdwood Primary School gathered together to come up with a new fundraising idea for the school. As many of the school’s families were farmers, and farming was going through a very tough time, they wanted to provide an opportunity to draw money from outside of the local community. They also thought this would give the chance to extend some country hospitality to the ‘City Folk’, and give them a glimpse of what country life was all about.
And so, the very first Farm Day went into planning!
The inaugural Farm Day was held at the property of Peter and Jessie Ancell, ‘Anembo’ (Lucky Hit Road, Birdwood) on Monday 19th May 1975, and attracted about 1000 visitors.
Farm Day enabled each school family to be involved. Farming families provided stock and produce, or brought their own animals to the day where they were used for rides, display or petting. Families who were unable to provide produce would spend the weeks prior to Farm Day baking and creating. As the families worked together, a wonderful sense of community began to be established.
In 1979, Farm Day moved to a new location. ‘Pipiriki’, the property of Lorna and Harold Meier, became Farm Day’s home for the next 16 years, with the final one held there in May, 1994.
In 1995, Farm Day was moved to the picturesque surroundings of Chalks Camping Group. The new location within Mount Crawford Forest encouraged people to linger longer, enjoying a campfire among the trees and taking in the day’s entertainment.
Farm Day has been a huge success for Birdwood Primary School over the past 46 years. Since it began in 1975, the parents, staff and students have continued to work together to produce a successful event, year after year. As you wander around this year, you’ll be bumping into generations of Birdwood families who revisit the event each year. or who chose to stay on and help long after their own children have left the school, a true indication of the community spirit of the event. 2020 saw Birdwood Farm Day cancelled for to first time since it’s inception, due to COVID restrictions. Rallying against further COVID impacts, our 2021 event is a reimagining of what makes Birdwood Farm Day so special.
2022 saw Birdwood Farm Day again reimagined with a relocation to a new site, the National Motor Museum, right here in the heart of town! With Covid 19 still looming at the beginning of the year, and uncertainty surrounding the success of the event in such a climate, Birdwood Primary School were determined to give it their all. And all we did. Sell out tickets sales, glorious weather and an incredibly loyal community marked this the start of something special. In 2023 we are excited to be back at the Motor Museum with all the crowd favourites and a few new ideas to change it up. Farming will, as always, be showcased in the Arenas with a multitude of free demonstrations including working dog and horse mustering demonstrations, log chopping, shearing, milking, and other static exhibits like blacksmiths, leatherwork and spinners and weavers. Come along and see for yourself, what makes our Farm Day so great! Get your tickets today to avoid missing out!