The countdown is on for one of the highlights of the
Arrowtown 150 celebrations - the re-enactment of the
discovery of gold.
However, participants are still being sought for the event,
which will take place next Saturday - particularly those of
Chinese descent, who are needed for the Chinese Village
Re-enactment director Victoria Keating said at least four
Chinese actors were required to play the parts of some of the
Chinese miners, reading from a script and telling the story
of people who lived in the huts along the banks of the Arrow
The theatre was just one aspect of the re-enactment, which
would involve at least 120 members of the Arrowtown
community, although Ms Keating was keen to hear from others
who wanted to be involved.
Participants had been given clear outlines of costume
requirements and - even though those involved were not
required to speak - guidelines on appropriate "curse words".
Men's clothing could comprise checked shirts, vests or
waistcoats, braces to hold trousers up, old full-brim hats
and "some variety of work boots", while women were advised to
dress in long skirts, high-necked, long-sleeved blouses,
boots, aprons or pinafores and possibly blazers and hats.
Banned from the clothing list are modern or patterned jeans,
running shoes, caps, beanies, gumboots, watches and sun
glasses, although prescription glasses were allowed.
Ms Keating said throughout the re-enactment there would be
"the odd bit of fighting ... over claims, gold, camping
spots, beer and women".
The list of curse words commonly used in the 1800s included
"bull", "blame", "blast", "dickens", "redneck", "strumpet",
"boot-licker", "nancy boy", "scallywag" and "cherry - a
vulgar term for a young woman".
Up to 8000 people would line the banks of the Arrow River to
watch those involved retell the history of the settlement of
Arrowtown in less than an hour.
The roles included staking claims in the river, panning for
gold, striking it rich, losing all their gold and heading to
the tavern for a beer.
Anyone interested in taking part was welcome, with costumes
available for those who needed them, Ms Keating said.
"You turn up on the day and there will be people there to
organise you into groups.
"You go with your group and when you're called on, you get to
the stage [the river bank] and you're snoozing, or gold
panning or having a drink.
"We want it to look authentic ... but we are aware 200
people, including horses, is a huge amount to co-ordinate.
"We just want people to use their initiative and make sure
they're doing whatever they can to look the part."
Arrowtown 150 co-ordinator Julie Hughes said the re-enactment
would be a "unique experience".
"It's something that will be a huge amount of fun for
participants and for members of the public watching.
"The idea is that it just fosters community involvement and
gets everybody to celebrate."
Anyone interested in being involved in the re-enactment, or
playing a part of a Chinese miner, is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org