Crowds and colour: Christchurch's MulletMan performs during last year's Arrowtown Autumn Festival


The Arrowtown Autumn Festival has been canned for the second time in three years.

Forced to cancel for the first time in its 36-year history in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, the event has again been scratched in response to the unfolding Omicron outbreak.

Festival director Carole Watts says the cancellation’s a tough decision but the right one given ‘‘the ongoing threat of Covid and the risk and uncertainty it poses for our community’’.

‘‘We are absolutely gutted and disappointed at having to cancel the 2022 festival this year.

‘‘Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us — our sponsors, performers, contractors, volunteers, stall holders, funders and local businesses — we simply couldn’t do it without you.’’

The event is usually held over five days every April, featuring about 30 events including a market day, gold panning championships, art exhibits, performers and a community street parade.

‘‘The safety of our amazing community must come first and so now we will shift our focus to 2023… and ensure we put on a festival to make you all proud,’’ Watts says.