Akaroa French Festival – A biennial festival celebrating the unique culture and heritage of New Zealand’s sole French settlement and the boutique harbourside town of Akaroa. Held over the weekend of 29th April – 1st May.

Make a weekend of it with plenty to celebrate starting Friday night with the official opening followed by live music and lights surrounded by food and wine vendors and stalls. Saturday starts early down on the beach with The Landing the historical re-enactment of the arrival of French and German passengers from the Comte de Paris in 1840 who came to Akaroa to start new lives. The performers and locals are joined by The Canterbury Brass Band to lead The Parade with vintage cars, fire brigade and penny farthings down to the Akaroa Recreational Ground and The Heritage Marquee.

Heritage, arts and culture stalls are buzzing with everything from a local fashion show to Victorian photography. Live music will keep you entertained while you sample food and wine or try your luck in some competitions – perhaps a bit of cock crowing or the waiter’s race. For the children there are traditional French games.

Saturday evening the Marquee is a buzz with Le Cabaret providing stellar variety acts with Can Can dancers mixed with burlesque and comedy finishing off with great music to dance the night away.

And there’s more on Sunday with Le Broccante a French inspired antiques and collectables fair plus car boot sale and stalls. The festival is rounded off by the innovative Cirotica Circus Company showcasing outstanding Circus Art and entertainment.29th