Labour Weekend 2018 is very close at hand, and we've discovered the perfect reason to come and stay in Christchurch for the long weekend.
The biennial Festa celebration is happening in the city once again, with 55 different events for people of all ages to enjoy. The last Festa was held in 2016 and brought some real spectacle to the inner city, plus a huge amount of buzz with interactive displays, food trucks, entertainment and much more.
This year's event is has a focus on family and children, so the events will be very diverse and full of fun for the whole family. The public is invited to participate in this packed programme, which ranges in scope from Dates with Plates through to Food for Thought.
We have picked out some of the highlights for you and your family to enjoy below:
FEASTA! October 20th 5pm - 11pm, Gloucester Street
The main event and highlight of the whole long weekend is FEASTA! - a massive street party that celebrates architecture, design and food. Artists, musicians, community groups, businesses, over one hundred architecture students from across Australasia, and design and architecture professionals will come together to create a spectacular celebration of food and city-making, live for one night only.
Large-scale installations, performances, artworks, activities, people and lots of wonderful things to eat and drink combine to form a "collective reimagining of Christchurch" in the city’s new public spaces. Among the interactive spaces and activities will be Kono for Kai - 100 handwoven harakeke kono (small food baskets) filled with native plant seedlings and see will be available to the public in exchange for a donation of non-perishable food (or a cash koha/donation). These will be distributed to communities in need via Rehua Marae Social Services.
Makkanika will be an interactive seating area with room for community games and an Asian themed food truck market. FEASTA! also features lots of other local food trucks and food suppliers including Utopia Ice, Prima Coffee and many more.
(Note: Rain Date is Sunday 21 October in case the weather gods don't play nice).
RSVP on the Facebook Event Page to make sure you don't miss out on any of the action (and giveaways!)
Story Times at Tūranga, Cathedral Square, Saturday October 20, 10.30am - 12 midday
This one is perfect for the smaller children in the family - ideal for ages 2+ and your chance to have a look and experience the fabulous new city Library - Turanga.
Come and enjoy a special FESTA-themed Storytimes and activities. Stories all about food and fun craft activities where you will make something to take home! No bookings required.
The Big Band Picnic, October 22 from 10,30am - 3.30pm, Christchurch Botanic Gardens
The Big Band Festival joins forces with FESTA 2018: A public festival of architecture, design & food for this event.
Pack a picnic and head down to the Botanic Gardens, by the Peacock Fountain. If you don't bring a picnic you will not get in trouble. In fact there might even be somewhere to buy something if you get hungry.
And if you're hungry for music, we'll be dishing up a seven course meal of big bands, one after the other. Enjoy some great music in beautiful surrounds from seven big bands from across New Zealand.
10:30 AM Nelson Jazz Club Big Band
11:30 PM All Girl Big Band
12:30 PM Papanui Big Band
1:00 PM Chisnallwood Big Band
1:30 PM Sideline Swing
2:30 PM Garden City Big Band
3:30 PM CSM Big Band
Wet weather venue - Little Andromeda. 131 Gloucester St.
Ōtautahi Survivor Treasure Hunt, October 19 - October 22, throughout the city of Christchurch
Throughout FESTA until prize-giving Mon 22 October at 3.30pm, free, but you must register to have a chance of winning!
If you had to live on what you could find around our city, could you find what you need to survive?
This fun treasure hunt for young and old lays down a challenge to search out local food and other resources we need for survival here in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Are you ready? (Prize-giving Monday 3.30pm).
Pizzas & Butterflies - Open Community Housewarming, Friday October 19, 4pm - 7pm, Kahikatea Common 96 Tuam Street
Kahikatea neighbourhood and the Butterfly Musketeers welcome you to Kahikatea Common in the South Frame, next to 96 Tuam Street. Koha/$2 per pizza slice.
Come meet the emerging Kahikatea neighbourhood and share woodfired pizza straight from the Kahikatea Community Oven. This ‘housewarming’ is a chance to explore three newly opened public places - Lava Lane, Kahikatea Common and Te Ara Pū Hā/The Greenway.
Bright designs by artist Anne McDonald draw you into a place that celebrates nature’s services to humanity. See “Take Flight”, the little Butterfly House where St. Michael’s Church School are establishing a Monarch ‘hatchery’.
Get your picture taken with the butterfly mural created by artist Richard “Pops” Baker. We’ll be planting some swan plants and nectar flowers are you’re welcome to help! (It’s NZ Gardening Week).
The Garden City Big Band are here to entertain you too from 5pm.
Play hopscotch, and discover the Story of Stone and other points of interest in a treasure hunt created by kids for kids. Pizza proceeds will go to help young caretakers of butterflies.
Food Explorium, Friday October 19 - Sunday October 22, Canterbury Museum Rolleston Ave, 9am - 5pm
Take a self-directed interactive tour through the museum’s galleries stopping to discover the connections with food.
From Moa eggs and Māori food preparation techniques through to the black swans eaten by soldiers and the unusual food supplies Antarctic explorers had. Suitable for children aged 7+ (and adults), or younger with the aid of a parent.
Download the activity sheet from the FESTA website or pick one up at the museum entrance.
Produce a City, Christchurch Art Gallery, Gloucester St, October 21 1pm - 4pm
Another great interactive activity to involve the family. In this drop-in session we will collectively build a cityscape out of food!
Use the colourful clay provided to sculpt a house or a building in the shape of fruit and vegetables and add it to the map. Suitable for children aged 7+.