Things to do  |  19 Jan 2022

Fancy an evening picnic, a musical journey through the ages, and a stunning fireworks display?

Then head to North Hagley Park on Saturday night for one of the biggest events on Christchurch’s summer calendar – Sparks, the classical music extravaganza.

Popular conductor David Kay will be appearing with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for a night that showcases the traditional classics, modern day favourites, and a few surprises in between. There will be performances by Henare Kaa, from Dillastrate, and by Shannon Cooper-Garland.

The free concert will end with a dazzling fireworks display, starting around 9.30pm.

“We couldn’t go ahead with Sparks in 2021 because of COVID-19 so we are super excited to be bringing the event back this year,’’ says Christchurch City Council Events and Arts Manager Lucy Blackmore.

“The event is being staged under the orange setting on the COVID-19 Protection Framework so people will notice things are a bit different to previous years.

“There will be fencing around the concert site and we will have staff checking vaccine passes before entry for people aged 12 years and three months or older.  Please allow extra time for entry and be patient with those checking the passes,’’ Ms Blackmore says.

“If you want to make sure that you have a good spot to enjoy the night’s entertainment, we recommend that you get there early because the site has limited capacity.''

The gates to the concert site will open at 3.30pm, with pre-show entertainment scheduled to start from 6.30pm. The main show will get under way at 7.15pm.

“If you don’t have time on the day to organise a picnic, don’t worry because there will be plenty of food and drink providers on site who can keep you fed and watered,’’ Ms Blackmore says.

For those planning on getting dropped off at North Hagley Park, there will be a drop-off point on Rolleston Ave outside Christ College.

A shuttle service will also run every 15 minutes between 4 and 6.30pm, leaving from the Bus Exchange (Lichfield Street side) and dropping people off outside Christ's College (Rolleston Avenue).

The Botanic Gardens Armagh Street carpark will be closed to all traffic from 3pm but there are thousands of carparks available in the central city, which can be found using this interactive map

Bike stands will be located in Hagley Park opposite the roundabout over the Armagh Street. Mobility parking is available on Chester Street West (off Park Terrace.)  Mobility passes will be required to access this area.