Wintry forecast hits weekend events

Rain and strong, cold winds forecast for Dunedin tomorrow and Saturday have prompted organisers to cancel the Winter Octafun event and forced changes to the Midwinter Carnival which is still going ahead.

Octafun was supposed to provide live entertainment to rugby fans in the Octagon tomorrow night and on Saturday afternoon, before they head to Forsyth Barr Stadium to watch the All Blacks play Ireland.

However, a Dunedin City Council spokesman said that due to the poor weather forecast for the next few days, the council had made the "difficult decision" to cancel the event.

The traffic management plans would remain in place for safety reasons from tomorrow morning until Sunday morning in the lower Octagon and Stuart St, he said.

The special bus services to and from the match would also continue as planned.

"And given the forecast rain, we will be opening the Dunedin City Library car park up as a covered space for people to wait for their buses."

There would also be portable toilets in the upper Octagon outside the Municipal Chambers from tomorrow until Sunday morning.

Dunedin Midwinter Carnival spokeswoman Jess Covell said the weather had also forced organisers to cancel the procession of children carrying lanterns around the grounds of First Church.

However, the remainder of the carnival events would still be held tomorrow night and Saturday night — many of them indoors.

"That was our plan from the start. We had a contingency plan. We’re just shifting a few things around."

The event includes large-scale projections, giant lanterns, live music, dancers, stilt walkers, aerial performance and food trucks.

Some performances would now take place in Burns Hall and the church, alongside some of the lanterns which would be on display, Ms Covell said.

"The music stage will remain outdoors.

"It is covered so it’s perfectly safe, and there will be some covering available for people wanting to watch the live music and projections."

MetService forecasts show the weather is expected to continue into Sunday, when the showers should clear and the southerlies should die out.

Believers in Murphy’s Law will not be surprised that Monday is forecast to be fine with northeasterlies.



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