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Festival Marks Autumn Delight

The Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival celebrates 36 years this year as a key annual event which brings together locals and visitors from all over the country to enjoy a grass roots community festival atmosphere.

The 2021 six-day programme will run from April 21 until April 26 and co-ordinator Carole Watts says it is a highlight on the region’s event calendar.

“ The annual festival recognises the significance of our vibrant autumn colours as a backdrop to the historic buildings and landscape. We were gutted to have to cancel in 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation but our focus has very much been on creating an even better 2021 festival.”

Most of the events on the festival programme are free to attend.

Carole says the Festival Parade and the Arts and Crafts market are always popular attracting thousands of people into Arrowtown.

“This year there will be the talented performers from Flame Entertainment, including stilt walkers, giant bubbles and hula hooping along with vintage cars who will lead the parade in style. The local scouts never fail to create an impressive float along with the Arrowtown Preschool, Wakatipu Garden Club and the Lakes District Museum. Meanwhile the iconic Miners Band, Buckingham Belles and Mini Belles are always a drawcard throughout the festival.”

Events are being held across various locations including the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall, Buckingham Green, Wilcox Green and the Library Green. The ASB Market Day is planned for Ramshaw Lane and car park where visitors will experience over 100 stalls selling locally made products, clothing, jewellery and art.

“New to the festival line-up this year is a fabulous, fun themed event called The Roaring 20s Prohibition Party on Saturday April 24 and we also have a Wine Barrel Art Charity Auction that has local artists getting creative with a wine barrel,” says Carole.

“The Arrowtown Scarecrow Trail is a fundraising event for the local junior cricket club where people are encouraged to walk around Arrowtown, find the scarecrows and guess what they are meant to be. There are great prizes for the winners.”

A volunteer committee of up to ten people works alongside Carole to create the six-day festival and she says with over 25 events on the programme the volunteers are critical to the event’s success.

“ We are supported by so many people and organisations locally and simply couldn’t put the festival on without our amazing, loyal sponsors and funding partners. Our community shows us exceptional support on multiple levels and we always welcome new volunteers who are the backbone of the autumn festival.”

To volunteer contact:


*The Senior Citizens Afternoon tea is a free event that includes delicious food and entertainment.  Tickets are required for entry and are available from the Lakes District Museum.

*The annual Art Exhibition and Photography Competition will be on display throughout the festival at the Lakes District Museum.

*Tickets for the main ticketed events including The Pie, Pint and Pinot and The Roaring 20’s Prohibition Party will be available online via Humanitix from mid-March.