Festival life a bed of roses and more

Helen Paterson (left) and Helen Hay display  their bed of roses at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival....
Helen Paterson (left) and Helen Hay display their bed of roses at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. Photos: Mandy Cooper
Vivid leaves were almost outnumbered by roses at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival street parade on Saturday.

Kerry Andrews  performs with the Buckingham Belles at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival’s street...
Kerry Andrews performs with the Buckingham Belles at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival’s street parade on Saturday.
About 25 members of the Wakatipu Gardening Club walked in the parade, wearing fluorescent outfits and carrying a small bed covered in 2000 roses handmade from crepe paper. The creative designer behind the bed was club member and local woman  Helen Hay.

"Someone said to me ‘how do you find time to do it all?’ I said ‘oh, well, when we drive to Invercargill I sit in the car and make the roses and when we drive to Christchurch — my husband’s driving, of course — I don’t like to waste a minute’."

Mrs Hay also created the bright tops and headpieces for the club members.

About 40 groups and floats took part in the parade, which included stilt walkers, circus acts, old cars, and school and preschool groups.

Parade watchers were jammed tightly into Buckingham St following the parade.  People quickly shuffled off to the Arts and Crafts Market on the Library Green. Festival co-ordinator Carole Watts said the festival hosted  10,000 to  15,000 people over the weekend.

"We’re thrilled. It’s amazing; we expected the heavens to open ... but no, it’s been amazing and we’ve had great turnout to all our events."

On Friday the outside movie was sold out, as was the Pie, Pint and Pinot yesterday. An eclectic mix of people also attended two very different events at Butlers Green yesterday  —  the Fun Dog Show and the New Zealand Gold Panning Championships. The festival started on Thursday and runs until Wednesday. 

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