The streets of Arrowtown will once again be pumping as the town hosts the BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Welcome Party on Thursday March 10.

Starting at 5.30pm, the free Welcome Party will be a burst of fun, friendly, family activity and top-class entertainment for locals and visitors on the streets of the historic town.

Organised by Arrow Events and the Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association, and hosted by The New Orleans Hotel, Arrowtown's main Buckingham Street will be at the heart of celebrations.

Following the first day of play at Millbrook Resort and The Hills, the welcome party will warm up with a special Māori haka welcome.


The haka will be performed by the Wakatipu Combined Kapa Haka group, made up of Arrowtown Primary School, Wakatipu High School and Kiwi Haka members.

The unique welcome - performed with the blessing of iwi elders who will be in attendance - promises to be a spine-tingling experience for international media, players at the tournament, visitors and locals, one that's often performed only at private ceremonies by invitation only.

"We've been working with Māori elders and cultural ambassadors on producing something unique for the party that promises to be a highlight of the evening," says Arrow Events director Julie Hughes.

"It's so important that everyone feels 'part' of the Open and welcomed to Arrowtown, and that our guests mingle with the crowds in a fun, relaxed environment, hopefully on a balmy summer's evening!

"We're also continuing with the theme of showcasing local talent with a performance from the popular Wakatipu High School jazz band Best Served Chilled, solo and duo artists from the school and a local entertainers from Rockformation to round out the evening.

"We have some amazing talent right here in Arrowtown and Queenstown and it's the perfect opportunity to bring the community together for this very special 'welcome' to our place."

Arrowtown's famous Miners Band and the Arrowtown Buckingham Belles will also perform during the evening, with entertainment scheduled to finish at 9pm.

Also on offer throughout the evening will be kids entertainment and activities brought to you by Arrowtown Four Square, and food stalls featuring local restaurants such as Mantra and La Rumbla plus BBQs and more. Refreshment stalls selling beer and wine will be manned by the New Orleans and The Fork and Tap.

The official After Party will be hosted by La Rumbla from 9pm.