The Queenstown and Southern Lakes Pipe Band leads the
Arrowtown Autumn Festival street parade on Saturday.
Thousands of people flocked to Buckingham St to take in all
the sights, sounds and tastes of the opening weekend of the
festival's 30th anniversary. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
The Wakatipu business community had every reason to smile
over the weekend as school holidays and the long weekend,
combined with the Arrowtown Autumn Festival and the inaugural
Queenstown Blues and Roots Festival, brought visitors to the
resort in droves.
Anzac Day was commemorated in Queenstown, Arrowtown and
Glenorchy by thousands of residents and visitors of all ages,
despite the first instance of rain on the day in more than 20
Queenstown Returned and Services Association (RSA) president
David Geddes said cancellation of the parade to the memorial
service was considered until showers eased. The programme
continued as planned.
''Memorial service numbers were down, but we put that down to
it being a grim day and there being a very good turnout for
the dawn service,'' Mr Geddes said.
''The memorial service was very well received, with lots of
comments from visitors from the North Island and Australia
saying it was the best Anzac Day service they've attended.''
Mr Geddes said the dawn service will be held in Queenstown
for a third year in 2015. It was expected to become an annual
mainstay, given the support from the community, especially
The Anzac Day memorial service overflowed, with people paying
tribute in the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall.
Rain prompted the parade to go to the Arrowtown and District
War Memorial beside the fire station to prevent participants
slipping on the wet grass of Memorial Hill.
Otherwise, Arrowtown RSA president John Lindsay said he was
''very pleased'' with the service.
There were ''excellent numbers, crowd-wise''.
''We put extra seating in the supper room, but there were
still an awful lot of people standing at the back of the hall
Next year's Anzac Day will mark the centenary of the Anzac
landings at Gallipoli. Arrowtown put its best foot forward on
Saturday, with about 12,000 people attending the first full
day of the autumn festival.
Now in its 30th year, director Toni Stockham was
''astounded'' at the record numbers attending this year's
Parking was at a premium as buses, camper vans and cars made
their way into the town. Buckingham St was lined end to end
with vintage cars by 9.30am, which later led the festival's
On the Village Green more than 100 stall-holders sold their
wares - from arts and crafts, to jewellery, food and local
products - while children got to grips with every style of
The crowds dispersed just before 2pm for the street parade,
featuring community groups, clubs and businesses vying to win
best float award.
That award went to the Arrowtown Cubs and Scouts ,who built a
two-part float. Sponges were lobbed from one to the other,
and autumn leaves were thrown in return.
About 6000 people packed into the Queenstown Events Centre to
enjoy the inaugural Queenstown Blues and Roots Festival.
The oval was lined with food and beverage stalls but all
focus was on the main stage, where party goers were treated
to some of New Zealand's best acts including Fly My Pretties,
The Black Seeds, King Leo and The Johnnys, along with
international acts Elvis Costello and The Imposters, and The
Queenstown police warned a man at the festival who jumped the
hot dog queue and got into a fight with a man who abused him
for jumping the queue.
Senior Constable Julian Cahill said the queue-jumper punched
the other man.
An intoxicated woman was ejected from the event after she
''managed to get up on the stage''.
The action continued in Arrowtown on Sunday, with a mad-cap
dash down Buckingham St pitting 36 competitors in the Pub to
Pub Challenge. It was won by the Arrowtown Rugby team. The
forecast rain held off until the final pints were poured on
the Village Green at the annual Pie and Pint Festival.
Masterchef NZ contestants Jaimie Stodler and Bec Stanley,
both of Arrowtown, judged Wild Earth's pulled pork pie as the
best of the event. Awards also went to Jonesy's Cafe &
Bar, The Fork'n Tap and the Arrowtown Bakery.
The festival continues until Sunday. Highlights including
tonight's Quiz Night at the Athenaeum Hall; an Autumn Night
in Arrowtown with Suzanne Prentice tomorrow and the sold out
Art2Wear shows on Friday and Saturday evenings.
It ends on Sunday with Arrow's Gold, a variety show at the
Athenaeum Hall, coinciding with comedian Billy Connolly
playing in Queenstown on Sunday evening.