Arthur's Pass Fete

Last summer Arthur’s Pass was the place to be, with hundreds attending the first community fête held by the YMCA Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre.

The organisers were supported by the Selwyn Community Fund for advertising and marketing the fête, which proved to be successful; approximately 700 people went.

Community groups can use funding from the Community Fund to hold events and activities that promote Selwyn’s uniqueness, help build the community and encourage visitors to the district.

On Saturday 12 January 2019, the fête was in full swing with music, a bouncy castle, a raffle, local craft and second hand clothing stalls, fun activities for kids and light refreshments.

It was a fun day that bought the local community together and fundraised money for the centre which run programmes focused on teaching basic outdoor skills and environmental education for young people to discover what New Zealand has to offer and how they can enjoy it safely.

The money will be put towards providing experiences and opportunities for free, or at low costs, and equipment such as rain jackets and tents supporting children who have participation barriers.

Arthur's Pass Outdoor Education Centre manager Gemma Murphy said she is passionate about delivering these opportunities for youth because of the many benefits including social and personal development, confidence building, enhancing problem solving skill and increasing physical and mental health.

The fête attracted people from all over the South Island including visitors from the West Coast and Ashburton, many saying they would return if the event was on again.

“The funding Selwyn District Council generously contributed enabled us to advertise the event through newspapers, posters and social media. As this was the first event of its kind here, we needed to promote it far and wide,” Miss Murphy said.

She hopes a similar event “Autumn Fête”—which will be held on 21 March—will draw the same numbers, if not a bigger audience and the group plans to run these events annually.

The big turnout showing there is more to do in Arthur’s Pass than stop for coffee and a toilet break!