11-days of autumn festival begin today with exhibition

The 24th annual Arrowtown Autumn Festival gets under way today, with the opening of the festival art exhibition at the town's Lakes District Museum.

The highlight of the 11-day festival, which runs until May 4, will again be the main festival day on Saturday.

The day's events will include the annual parade, a market and live entertainment, including bands and an Actionflite aerial stunt display.

This year's festival also includes 75th Jubilee celebrations for the Arrowtown Volunteer Fire Brigade, with past and present members taking part in the festival, marching in the town's Anzac Day parade and attending a dinner on Saturday night.

The weekend's festivities included old-time and ballroom dancing tomorrow night at Arrowtown's Athenaeum Hall, followed by a vintage car display on Buckingham St on Saturday morning and the main street parade from 2pm.

Events would continue through next week, including musical performances, a cookoff, and the Arrowtown Proposition debate featuring Dunedin mayor Peter Chin and Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt arguing their claims over Arrowtown.

More than 1200 people from community groups across the Wakatipu would be involved in this year's festival, contributing to more than 70 events, organiser Julie Hughes said.

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