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ChristchurchNZ has confirmed plans for the BLOOM festival, which will feature several major events, including the City Farmyard, Days of Ice, Diwali, SCAPE Public Art 2020, concerts and top-class sport.
Both Addington Raceway and Riccarton Park are also expecting big on-course crowds during one of the spring season’s social highlights, Cup Week, in November.
Riccarton Park chief executive Tim Mills said many Kiwis will favour Christchurch for a spring break, with “outstanding” interest in racing, along with “the wider BLOOM programme”.
Addington Raceway chief executive Brian Thompson said the harness organisation “can’t wait to share Cup Week with Canterbury as part of BLOOM”.
“We believe people need an excuse to celebrate with their friends and family. That’s what BLOOM is all about, encouraging people to come out, support local and enjoy spring,” he says.
BLOOM also encourages locals and visitors alike to explore the city’s retail precinct, hospitality and culture.
In 2019, BLOOM generated almost $6 million in visitor spending.
Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale said BLOOM offers a perfect opportunity to wander around the city.
“Central city businesses have been hit particularly hard by the disruption caused by Covid-19 but the BLOOM events are a great opportunity to support local businesses and explore what’s on in the city,” he says.
During BLOOM, the city will be adorned with street dressings and decorations, complemented by the installation of a giant CHCH sign by The Terrace.
ChristchurchNZ general manager destination and attraction Loren Heaphy said ensuring a vibrant city and a strong visitor economy is a vital part of the city’s response to the social and economic impacts of Covid-19.
“We’ve worked closely with event organisers and city partners to deliver a programme of events, bringing the vibrant spring atmosphere Ōtautahi Christchurch is so well known for,” she says.
“We hope to welcome visitors from across the region and country to the city to celebrate BLOOM.”