Editorial: November 2017 Talking Chiang Mai’s Big Day Out – the Citylife Garden Fair

As I write this in late October, that moment is a shimmering promise following what is going to be a crazy month. In the days when our company — and media in general — was far bigger.

By | Wed 1 Nov 2017

One of my favourite times of the year is around 4pm on the day of our Citylife Garden Fair. After four or five months of planning and hard work and the inevitable stress and frenzy of the day, this is when I can finally relax and give myself a mental pat on the back.

Food stalls have mostly sold out, drink stall owners are grinning from ear to ear at the brisk trade, the bands have gathered an adoring crowd, preliminary reports show that a respectable sum of money has been raised for charity, all earlier altercations and sulks have been forgotten and my one visible job of the day, the live auction, is over. After twelve years and probably over 20 Citylilfe Garden Fairs, I have developed a finely-tuned routine and by 4pm I would have enjoyed my first glass of bubbly and found myself booked in for a foot massage. I sit, glass in hand, looking out at the hustle and bustle of the last hours of the event. It’s a good feeling.

As I write this in late October, that moment is a shimmering promise following what is going to be a crazy month. In the days when our company — and media in general — was far bigger, and when our fairs were far smaller, the event wasn’t such a challenge. But from our first post-tsunami event when we had under two dozen stalls and raised just under 30,000 baht for tsunami victims, to today’s whopping 300 plus stalls and a dream of making the half million baht mark, the fair has grown far beyond us and has become a collective effort and achievement of the entire community.

So this month, I feel that I need to recognise the fact that while Cityllife’s name still headlines the event, it is no longer our event alone. Hundreds of businesses, from iconic international brands such as Georg Jensen, Le Meridien, Four Seasons and Silk Air, to our city’s very own success stories including Oasis Spa, Rachamankha Hotel, Ginger & The House and Elephant Parade through to more humble enterprises, have all pledged their support. The local media has been wonderful and have all promised pledged to give us big boosts of promotion this month and even the national media, including Thailand Tatler, will be featuring our event for the first time.

Musicians have always been an integral part of our fair and have donated their time and talent to keep us all happy and entertained over the years, but this year we have a new group of amazing people — artists. So far, over 25 Thai and international artists, some who are world renown, have donated paintings to us and there will be an art exhibition between 16th-25th November at the Chiang Mai University Art Museum.

But it is a small group of volunteers who have really pushed us to another level, for the past many months meeting every few weeks to make this event even bigger and better. They have contributed so much to our event that I can’t thank them all enough.

But of course the reason our humble Citylife Garden Fair has become a permanent fixture on our city’s calendar is because of you. I know this sounds cheesy, but without all of you sharing our event on your Facebook pages — you can find us at Citylife Garden Fair ’17 (CMU Art Museum) — or coming to support our tombolas or auctions, shopping, eating, drinking and dancing, we wouldn’t have raised millions of baht upon millions over the years for those who need it the most.

So thank you and see you ALL on November 25th at the Chiang Mai University Art Museum for a fantastic time.