What will you be doing with your long weekend?

If you’re visiting Christchurch for the long weekend or you’ve decided to potter round home and are not sure how to spend your Labour Weekend, don’t fret - there are plenty of exciting events happening this weekend in the Garden City.


A slice of the West Coast is destined for Cramner Square this Saturday. The Great West Coast Whitebait Festival organisers (the same folks who run the successful Hokitika Wildfoods Festival) are bringing nearly half a tonne of fresh whitebait over from the Coast to serve up to the people of Christchurch.  The list of stallholders at the Festival includes Yealands Estate Wines, Monteiths, Tohu Wines and Whitestone Cheeses. Other tempting stalls include Urban Escargot where you can sample lamb ribs, escargot and venison ciabatta and Bamboozle with Asian inspired delights. Of course you'll also get the opportunity to get your hands on a gourmet whitebait sandwich or take home some of the delicious little white critters home. The Festival team have planned loads of fun activities for the day, including a gumboot throwing competition entitled "Mr and Mrs Whitebait Legs" (the winners receive $500), cooking demonstrations and wine matching. There will also be loads of live entertainment on offer. Tickets for the Festival are $27 and you’re advised to book online in advance to avoid disappointment on the day. Check out the Great West Coast Whitebait Festival website for further information.


The Indian festival of Diwali is celebrated in late October or early November each year depending on the linear calendar. This ancient Hindu tradition symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the renewal of life. Families traditionally celebrate by lighting small oil lamps or diya around the house and setting off fireworks. Head to the Diwali Indian Festival of Lights at CBS Arena this Saturday from 5pm to experience authentic Indian culture. Entry to the Festival is a gold coin donation. The event will feature delicious food, workshops, craft stalls and a cultural programme with performances by local and international dancers, singers and musicians.


One of the most inspiring events on Christchurch’s calendar this year is FESTA, the Festival of Transitional Architecture. This new Festival will now be an annual fixture for Christchurch and opens with a bang this Saturday night with LUXCITY, an event that looks truly amazing - inner Christchurch will be transformed into a city of light. LUXCITY is an ambitious project which encompasses a variety of innovative concepts - 16 installations created by 350 Architecture and Design students from around New Zealand will come to life. The students have collaborated with a number of Christchurch businesses to design and construct their concepts. The installations will involve the use of light to illuminate the inner-city and create spaces for pop-up functions including a night market and a fashion event, as well as featuring in various bars, restaurants, a theatre and various spaces dotted around the CBD. The FESTA organisers hope the Festival will help Cantabrians to reclaim their city and allow them to explore temporary architecture and "DIY urbanism" and see the amazing opportunities for urban renewal that are now available for the people of Christchurch. The Festival will run for 10 days from 20 - 28 October and the variety of free FESTA events include a music performance, public lectures, architecture tours, and workshops, including a pizzeria earth building event where you can get your hands dirty and help build an inner-city pizza oven. Check out the FESTA website for more information and a list of events on the FESTA programme. Exciting and inspiring stuff for the city of Christchurch.