Belles wear khaki for wartime tribute show

23:31, Apr 22 2014
Southland Times photo
Buckingham Belles Alice Hutchens, Jo Maglaras and Kristen Nolan with MC Craig Ferguson will perform a wartime number as part of this year's 30th Anniversary Arrowtown Autumn Festival.

Gone is the colour of Arrowtown's Buckingham Belles at this year's 30th anniversary Arrowtown Autumn Festival.

The Belles will don army khakis to present a special wartime tribute during the festival's final evening variety show, this year known as Arrow's Gold.

The show is one of only a handful of events held every year since the festival began in 1984 and while it is known for its hilarity, it also showcases the talent and imagination of the locals.

This is the first year the Belles have been involved in organising the event and spokeswoman Alice Hutchens said the show would be a bit special.

The Belles' wartime dance would also commemorate the beginning of World War I 100 years earlier and recognise Anzac Day on Friday.

"Every now and then we do something a little bit different. Since it's a century [since the outbreak of WWI], we thought we'd do a little nod in that direction."

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Popular local MC and councillor Craig "Ferg" Ferguson will host the show and acts will include a mix of established performers such as singer Charlotte Graf and blues and jazz performer Nicola Lindsay as well as many community groups including groups from Wakatipu High School and Arrowtown Primary School and the pipe band.

Showbiz Queenstown will be giving a sneak preview of their up and coming show Jesus Christ Superstar and the night will open with what may be the first Kapa Haka staged at the event.

The Arrowtown Fire Brigade, a regular of the show would be "providing a bit of sophisticated assistance" to the Belles this year, she said.

There was no prize money but a new "Golden Belle" statuette would be given for one performance.

"It's not a competition. We do it for the fun," Hutchens said.

And don't fear, the Buckingham Belles will be making many appearances during the festival in their traditional, colourful dresses.

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The Southland Times