Arrowtown 150th celebrations

In 1862, gold was discovered in the Arrow River, and 150 years on, the Arrowtown community is this weekend celebrating the miners and townspeople who founded the village.

Today
• 10am and 2pm: Historical walks (free). Meet at the front of the Lakes District Museum and join the Queenstown Historical Society to discover historical Arrowtown.
• 11am, 1pm and 3pm: Mary MacKillop cottage tours (free). Meet at the front of the Lakes District Museum to visit the cottage in which Sister Mary MacKillop lived during the gold-mining era. Canonised in 2010, Sister Mary is the only Australasian to have been made a saint.
• 7pm: Plaque unveiling - X marks the spot at the Arrow River, near the Arrowtown Skate Park.
• 7.30pm: Gold 150 exhibition opening, Lakes District Museum. Gold Is Where You Find It - 150 years of gold in Central Otago. Exhibition runs until November 30.

Tomorrow
NOTE: A gold-coin donation will be requested for the main events today.
• 10am to 1.30pm: Masonic Lodge guided tours (free). A rare opportunity to see inside this building, dating back to the gold-mining era.
• 10am to 3pm: Arrowtown Market, Library Green. Local arts, crafts and food plus a variety of entertainment including the New Zealand Army Band from noon to 1pm. Head along the main street to see the centenary 1 and 2 vehicles, all more than 100 years old. On display from 10am to 1pm.
• 1.45pm to 2.45pm: Gold Rush Re-enactment (free). See Jack Tewa discover gold and follow the fortunes of miners, businesses, bars and dancing girls as Arrowtown 1862 unfolds before your eyes. Features 200 people, horses and wagons.
• 3.15pm: Gold 150 official opening, Butlers Green (free). The New Zealand Army Band will lead the procession to Butlers Green for the official opening ceremony. Follow the Chinese dragon and lion dancers to the Chinese Village where a promenade theatre brings the village and its residents to life.
• 7pm: The Gold Ball, Athenaeum Hall ($80 per person). Formal dress. Canapes and bubbles plus a two-course buffet meal.
Cash bar. Tickets available from the Lakes District Museum, as door sales, or by emailing soper5@xtra.co.nz.

Sunday
• 9am: New Zealand gold-panning championships, Butlers Green. In association with Oceana Gold, the 2012 championships feature ladies', men's, teams, schools and a "Have a Go" section for those who have never panned before. Registrations from 9am, finals at 3pm.
• 10.30am: Interdenominational church service, Buckingham Green. A celebration of the rich history of the district.
• 10am to 4pm: Town Meets Country, Millbrook Corner. Static and steam displays, stage-coach rides, vintage cars, old-fashioned fun and games. A great family fun day out including live entertainment and helitours.
• 10am to 5pm: Millbrook - Celebrating The History. Historical walks and photo displays as well as a picnic "high tea". Regular shuttles operate from the corner to the resort.
• 11am, 1pm and 3pm: Mary MacKillop cottage tours.
• 12.30pm: Black Powder Club, Arrow River. Step back in time and see these old-fashioned guns being fired. Signposted from the New Zealand gold-panning championships.
• 2pm to 4pm: Jazz on the Green, Buckingham Green. Relax to the smooth sounds of the Queenstown Jazz Orchestra and the Wakatipu High School Jazz Orchestra Best Served Chilled.
• 7.30pm: Buckingham Belles Miners Night, Athenaeum Hall ($35 per person). Kick up your heels with the Belles and dance to music by Forbidden Fruit. Supper included, cash bar. Tickets available from Lakes District Museum, as door sales or by emailing kerrytempler@xtra.co.nz.

Monday
• 10am and 2pm: Historical walks.
• 11am, 1pm and 3pm: Mary MacKillop cottage tours.
• Noon: Beard judging, Fork'n Tap (free). Who will have the longest, scruffiest, most colourful? Join the 50 contestants and find out.
• 1pm: Mock court, Fork'n Tap (free). Who will be charged with what? What will the punishment be? Will it involve eggs and rotten tomatoes? Established legal fraternity will dole out punishments to fit the crimes.
• 1.30pm: Buckingham Belles Reunion, Jonesy's Cafe and Bar.
• 3pm: Time Capsule Placement, Arrow River, by the Arrowtown Skate Park. It will be 50 years before the time capsule will be reopened. You can tell the children and grandchildren, "I was there."