From the 8th to the 16th of November, the city of Christchurch comes alive for Cup and Show Week. Wherever your Christchurch accommodation is located, you will be in easy reach of all the events scheduled to take place during this frenetic week. Here are a few of the things that will be going on…and going off!
Things get started off with a hiss and a roar with the Street Party, to be held in the re:START mall on Friday the 8th. The main attraction will be Opshop, the Christchurch band which is now one of New Zealand’s premier rock acts. Support acts Assembly Required, Von Voin Strum and Katie Thompson will also hit the stage. This inaugural event will also feature a catwalk fashion show if you're looking to pick out a new outfit to wear to the races. The free Street Party kicks off at 4pm and will finish around 10pm.
Southy’s New Zealand 2000 Guineas
Guineas Day, held on Saturday the 9th, sees the best three year-old gallopers in Australasia competing for some hefty prize money. This is a great day out for the family. Put on your best race-day attire and look salubrious while you fritter away your fortune or win someone else’s. Gates open at 10am and there will be plenty of live entertainment, racing action and high fashion.
Another new event for this year’s Cup Week is the Urban Assault competition. Competitors from age 13 and over will run through a Central City obstacle course composed of 400 tyres, six cars, shipping containers and…(pause for dramatic effect) “Chaos Alley”, where they will have to run the gauntlet of traffic bollards, broken walls, flashing lights and various overturned and jumbled vehicles. Competitors are encouraged to dress up for the race so expect to see all manner of wacky and inappropriate running gear. The race kicks off at Cathedral Square on Sunday the 10th at 9am.
Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day
This is probably the biggest day of the year for South Island trotting enthusiasts. Cup day is all about glamour and there won’t be much work getting done in the offices around the city on Tuesday the 12th. The best harness racehorses in Australasia will be competing for New Zealand’s most coveted and prestigious trophy: the two-mile New Zealand Trotting Cup. Serious fashionistas can enter the Westfield Riccarton Cup Day Style Stakes and strut their stuff to win loads of prizes. All the action starts at Addington Raceway where the gates will open at 9.30am.
The Canterbury A&P Show
The first Canterbury A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) Show was held way back in 1863, not long after the province of Canterbury had been founded. Since then “The Show”, as locals call it, has been an integral part of the social landscape of Christchurch. This year there are 7000 livestock entries, 600 trade exhibits and one of New Zealand’s largest equestrian competitions, in which over 900 horses will compete in showing, dressage and show-jumping events. This is a chance for country people to come to town and show off their agricultural products; and a chance for city folks to experience the animals, machines and culture of rural life. There are wood-chopping, shearing and wool-handling events, gourmet food from around the world, a carnival, and of course, the Grand Parade. The Christchurch A&P Show runs from Wednesday the 13th until Friday the 15th. Wednesday is “judging day”, Thursday is “farmer’s day” and Friday is “people’s day.” To avoid the big crowds, “farmer’s day” is the best day to attend the show.