Matariki celebrations in Arrowtown

Arrowtown’s annual Matariki celebration has switched locations to the Ramshaw Lane car park after the success of the Autumn Festival market on that site.

The evening (Thursday 27 June this year) will start with a traditional welcome and karakia, the Kāmuriwai Kapa Haka teams will perform and the children of Arrowtown Preschool will sing Matariki songs by candlelight.

More music will be supplied by the band Choice and singer/songwriter Peti Seuili. Magical glowing faeries (you might recognise them from LUMA) will wander the crowds, fire dancers will show their stuff and paper lanterns will be released into the sky at regular intervals.

There's no need to get chilly because there will be lots of hot food and drink available: barbecue food, winter soup, cheese rolls and homemade apple pie, not to mention Vietnamese food from the Banh Van and hot nuts from Frank Goes Nuts. Warm up with glühwein and hot chocolate from Chard Farm, or try a special brew from Arrowtown's Lake & Wood Brewery. And the kids will just love toasting marshmallows for s'mores at the braziers.

The Matariki celebration is a fixture on our calendar now, but it started only a few years ago. It grew out of the Arrowtown Preschool's Matariki celebration, an atmospheric event that quickly became so popular there wasn't enough space for everyone.

In 2017 the preschool moved the celebration to the Library Green and opened it up to the public – and it has gone from strength to strength.

This year it will be held in the Ramshaw Lane car park from 5 pm to 7.30 pm on Thursday 27 June. It is a fundraiser for the Arrowtown Preschool. Wrap up warm, and join this wonderful community celebration!

Please don't park in the Ramshaw Lane carpark, organisers are hoping for a car-free event.