As the first drops of rain fell in Arrowtown late yesterday
afternoon, the final pints were poured on the Village Green,
closing the first full weekend of events in the 30th
Arrowtown Autumn Festival.
Festival director Toni Stockham said she was ''just
astounded'' at the turnout for the opening weekend, with a
record crowd of about 12,000 enjoying perfect autumn
conditions on Saturday for the market day and street parade.
Hundreds more descended on the town yesterday to see the
action in the annual Pub to Pub Challenge, in which nine
teams of four battled for top honours down Buckingham St,
before heading to the green for the Pie and Pint Festival,
where they got their fill of gourmet pies and boutique brews
during the afternoon.
Ms Stockham said the first weekend of the festival had been
''We couldn't have asked for better weather. We are just
astounded [at the support].''
On Saturday, Buckingham St was packed to the brim with people
taking in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the
market day and street parade.
The library green was jam-packed with stall holders and those
on the hunt for a bargain, while Buckingham St was filled
with food stalls and other vendors, as well as street
Street performer Adrian Kirk drew gasps from the crowd as he
juggled fire on a unicycle, while the ''Wonkey Donkey man'',
Craig Smith, had the younger members of the family in a
dance-off at Buckingham Green.
An aerobatic display by a stunt plane was the cue for people
to find a viewing spot on the footpath to take in the action
from the 30th-anniversary street parade.
Led by vintage cars, Central Otago town crier Paddy-Ann
Pemberton and the Queenstown and Southern Lakes Pipe Band,
participants included the parade-winning Arrowtown Scouts,
lobbing sponges and fallen leaves across two trailers at each
other; Bikes4Fun, featuring Patrick Star being pushed by
SpongeBob SquarePants; stilt-walkers, a steam engine and the
Yesterday, cooler temperatures greeted the 36 competitors
entered in the Pub to Pub Challenge, with three heats held
before the final.
The final began with one person from each team drinking a
beer through a straw, eating two dry Weetbix and then blowing
up a balloon, with the next competitor required to knit 20
stitches - a task that appeared to prove difficult.
Arrowtown rugby coach Hayden Finch was the first to complete
his knitting, giving his team a massive advantage.
After one fed spaghetti to the other from behind, the
Arrowtown rugby team raced to turn Cam Beale into a
cling-film mummy, carrying him to the finish line - and
At the Pie and Pint Festival, people sampled a variety of
boutique beers, washing down gourmet pies.
Ms Stockham said Masterchef New Zealand Arrowtown contestants
Jaimie Stodler and Bec Stanley judged Wild Earth's pulled
pork pie the best, with awards also going to Arrowtown
businesses Jonesy's Cafe & Bar, the Fork'n Tap and the
The festival continues until Sunday.