Festival attendance proves its popularity

JOHN EDENS
Last updated 05:00 30/04/2012

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Wearable art, variety performances and a multitude of sellout events raised the bar at the 28th Arrowtown Autumn Festival.

The colourful annual celebration of the season ended yesterday with a golf tournament, a skateboarding jam and a sold-out variety concert.

Yesterday, festival coordinator Deborah Husheer said many of the events sold out during the 10-day programme.

"The festival has been really successful, we have had great attendances.

"The ball sold out, Art 2 Wear sold out and the variety concert pretty much sold out."

About 10,000 people visited Arrowtown during festival week and inaugural events, a pub to pub challenge and a "pint 'n pie" competition, were likely to become perennial fixtures, she said.

The main parade, sponsored by The Southland Times, attracted a crowd of between 7000 and 8000 festival-goers.

The Art 2 Wear fashion show attracted dozens of entries and two fashion shows at the weekend sold out.

Winners in four categories were Kristi Howley, Jil Leydon and Sue Fussell, Mandy Sherson and Claire Marley-Shaw.

People's choice awards went to Leydon and Fussell's creation, an ocean-themed dress modelled by Holly Hargreaves and a dress made from magazines by Clair Gourlay and Jan Kinnaird.

The "unsung hero" award went to Arrowtown volunteer pipe band member and handyman Joe Guise.

His dedication said he was much valued as a member of the Lakes District Museum Board, an original member of the Arrowtown Miners' Band and the man who started a bus service for the Wakatipu rest home.

Mrs Husheer said the eight-member committee and about 100 volunteers made the festival a success.

If anything the festival showed no sign of slowing down and was becoming more popular each year, she said.

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- The Southland Times

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