St. Philip's Christian College Cessnock Spring Fair set to be biggest yet

PLENTY TO SEE: An aerial shot of a previous St. Philip’s Spring Fair. This year’s is set to be the biggest one to date.
PLENTY TO SEE: An aerial shot of a previous St. Philip’s Spring Fair. This year’s is set to be the biggest one to date.

St. Philip’s Christian College Cessnock is gearing up for its biggest Spring Fair yet this Saturday.

A new addition to this year’s event is the woodchop competition, with some champion axemen set to put on a great show.

Third-generation woodchopper Jeremy Donnelly will be involved in the event, along with his father Owen Donnelly and the Marsh family – Noel and sons Blake, Cameron and Brendon, who are all well accomplished in the sport.

The school had wanted to put on a woodchop event at the Spring Fair for a while, which Jeremy’s wife Cara had heard as the couple’s son Zane is in kindergarten at the school.

There will be three competitive races on the day – underhand at 11am, standing block at 12.30pm and a combination of underhand and standing block at 2pm.

There will also be some fun activities to watch between the events such as crosscut sawing, squaring up a railway sleeper with a broad axe, fence post splitting and the making of children’s furniture with a chainsaw.

Spring fair liaison officer Kath Hirons said the event is a great spectator sport as it is a bit different and the matches are quick and exciting.

“It’s not something you see every day,” she said.

NEW ADDITION: Jeremy Donnelly will be involved in the woodchop event.

NEW ADDITION: Jeremy Donnelly will be involved in the woodchop event.

Six sponsors are involved in the event - LJ Hooker Cessnock and Kurri, Ray White Cessnock, Jurds Real Estate, North Constructions, Liddell Open Cut and Noel Marsh and Son Fencing who will each have one competitor represent them.

The sponsor of the winning competitor will receive a trophy to take back to their business.

Along with the woodchop there will be plenty of other great events for people to enjoy on the day.

Cessnock City Motor Group will run four-wheel-drive activities on a track at the school and CP Driver Training will hold a learner course focusing on teaching learner drivers how to reverse park.

There will be laser tag sponsored by Anytime Fitness, the Happy Tooth are sponsoring the fairy/dental floss as well as putting on a petting zoo and there will be vintage cars and motorbikes on display.

Helicopter rides will run again, along with more rides, show bags and food as well as over 70 market stalls.

Ms. Hirons said the event, which is in its sixth year, is continuing to grow year by year.

“It’s a good community event,” she said.

“It’s always a great day.”

The Spring Fair will run from 10am to 3pm in the school grounds on Lomas Lane, Nulkaba.

Among the stalls at the St. Philip’s Spring Fair will be Stripes 4 Ryder, supporting T21 Ryder’s Foundation.

Merran Manulat established the not-for-profit foundation in honour of her son Ryder, who passed away from Meningococcal B on June 11, 2014, aged two-and-a-half.

Ryder Manulat

Ryder Manulat

Ryder was diagnosed with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect at three days old.

Stripes 4 Ryder sells items including candles, lollipops, plush animals, T-shirts and more, with all proceeds going to assist children with Down syndrome and their families.

The foundation is also planning its second annual charity golf day, with many high-profile sports stars playing on the day.

Last year’s golf day, held at The Vintage, raised $45,000.

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