Preparing to go back in time

Otatara riders Brent Pierce (left) on Blackjack and his wife Suzi on Paikea familiarise themselves with the Arrow River yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Otatara riders Brent Pierce (left) on Blackjack and his wife Suzi on Paikea familiarise themselves with the Arrow River yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The Arrow River bed will provide the stage and the mountains the backdrop as more than 120 people, horses and wagons transport the watching public to 1862, re-enacting the discovery of gold which heralded the beginning of the gold rush.

Arrowtown 150 co-ordinator Julie Hughes said it had been 25 years since the last re-enactment on the river bank.

Anyone wishing to witness the hour-long event, beginning at 1.45pm, should access the "stage" via the Arrowtown Skate Park stairs which would lead to a temporary bridge across Bush Creek.

Seating would be provided and reserved for the elderly - others were asked to bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on.

Following the re-enactment, a procession, led by the New Zealand Army Band would lead the actors and public to Butler's Green for the official opening of the Gold 150 celebrations and the start of the "Chinese celebration".

Present would be Chinese Consul-general Madam Xiutian Tan, Vice-consul-general Madam Yanli Chu, Consul Madam Xiaoyan Chen and Vice-consul Baoming (Jimmy) Xie.

"There will be our welcome to our special Chinese guests, with a lion dance ... and dragon dance.

Immediately after the opening, the dancers would lead the crowd to the Chinese Village, where a promenade theatre would bring the village and its "residents" to life.