Picture perfect place for a fete

by Andy Bryenton

How do you improve on the traditional fun and entertainment of a summertime fete? There’s always plenty to taste, see and do at these events, coming out of the tradition of small English village fairs which flourished from the late middle ages onward. But once you have tasty food, live music, colourful decorations and a variety of interesting stalls, what next?

How about a backdrop with scenery Hollywood can’t match? Well, that’s just what the organisers of the Arthurs Pass Summer Fete have at their disposal — the stunning alpine vistas of this gateway from the MacKenzie Country to the west. Situated in our nation’s third longest established national park, the little town which marks the route of Sir Arthur Dudley Dobson’s path through the alps has plenty to celebrate, and on Saturday January 12th from 10 — 4 the village will come alive with celebration.

If you’ve never ventured this far west in Canterbury, it’s a great excuse to come and see one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world. In fact, helping people enjoy this outdoor playground is the cornerstone reason for the Arthurs Pass Summer Fete — aside from the sheer enjoyment of good food, drink, music and fun on an alpine summers day. Funds raised from this event go to benefit the YMCA’s local Arthurs Pass Outdoor Education Centre, a valuable hub for teaching people about the rugged landscape — and their own abilities.

The day promises raffles, games, entertainment, and some of the classic features of a real country fete such as second hand stalls, crafts and artworks, hot local delicacies and more. A drive through some breathtaking scenery is the prelude to a day of country hospitality, as the organisers go all-out to make this first inaugural event a roaring success, paving the way for future summer fetes in years to come. It may have been just over 110 years since the town was founded, but as they say, good things take time! Make a plan to visit on the 12th of January and enjoy this alpine town at its finest.