Getting around, Things to do  |  4 Feb 2019

People heading to the popular Sparks concert in North Hagley Park on 16 February will be able to get a free bus ride home.

Sparks is one of the biggest events on the SummerTimes calendar and usually attracts a crowd of 55,000 to 65,000 people.

Fireworks during the finale of Sparks.

Sparks traditionally ends with a fireworks display.

Once again the event will be next to the Night Noodle Markets in North Hagley Park and this year Sparks will also be held on the same day as the one-day cricket international between the Black Caps and Bangladesh at Hagley Oval.

“It’s going to be a really busy weekend in the central city as big crowds are expected at all three events, Christchurch City Council Events and Arts Manager Karena Finnie says.

“The Night Noodle Markets will be opening at 1pm on the day of Sparks so people can come in and get food from the stalls before they settle down to enjoy the free concert from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the amazing fireworks display.

“People may also want to come to Sparks after they’ve been to the cricket so to make it easy for people to get home at the end of the night we are putting on free buses, Ms Finnie says.

“There will be 28 buses free for the public to use on the night, which will start departing when the fireworks are finished. We will have a Bus Guru team on hand to help people find their best route home and there will be plenty of route maps up at the event.

The buses will depart from two locations after the event: Harper Avenue and from Park Terrace.

The buses leaving from Harper Avenue (near the Bealey Avenue corner) will travel to Cashmere, Halswell, Sheffield Crescent and Hornby. The buses leaving from Park Terrace (between Salisbury Street and Chester Street West) will travel to Belfast, Queenspark, Sumner and New Brighton.

“We encourage people to take advantage of the free buses and to leave their cars at home. For those who would prefer to cycle or scooter to Sparks, we’ll have a cycle parking area and a scooter drop-off zone, Ms Finnie says.

“We are trying to make the events we run environmentally sustainable and to minimise our carbon footprint so we hope that people will get on board with this free bus initiative.