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French Fest celebrates Akaroa anniversary

French Fest celebrates Akaroa anniversary

Revellers at this year's French Fest will share in anniversary celebrations marking 175 years of organised European settlement in Akaroa.

The biennial fete returns to picturesque Akaroa from Friday 9 October - Sunday 11 October celebrating the unique culture and heritage of the French settlement.

The festival is the largest Christchurch City Council event to be run on Banks Peninsula with more than 8000 people descending on Akaroa in 2013 for a weekend of Gallic culture, heritage, cuisine and entertainment.

Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck says this year's festival marks a special milestone in Akaroa's history.

"The festival is always a great reason for families to visit the French heart of New Zealand to share in a weekend of food, fun and festivities. However this year's French Fest is extra special as it will celebrate Akaroa's 175th anniversary of European settlement, showcasing the area's Maori and French heritage.

"With a jam-packed programme including everything from French cuisine to cabaret French Fest is the perfect reason to take a trip over the hill to beautiful Akaroa for a full weekend of celebration and ceremony."

The 2015 French Fest programme includes:

Fete des Lumieres Street Party (Festival of Lights) - with spectacular fire performances, on-street entertainment and creative lighting projections this is a fun event for all ages.

The Landing and Parade - a recreation of 1840 landing of the Comte de Paris immigrant ship, followed by a colourful public parade.

Le Jour du Marche (Market Day) - watch roving entertainers, play interactive games and grab a bite of French cuisine as you browse the market stalls.

Cabaret Evening and Fireworks - Can-can dancers, live music and street performers will act as a great warm-up to before a stunning fireworks finale.

Ki-o-Rahi and Family Fun Day - tying in with the 175 year anniversary celebrations teams will compete in a friendly knock-out competition of Ki-o-Rahi (a traditional Maori game that was taught to the French) and traditional French games.

ENDS

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