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With just four days to go before NZ IceFest opens to the public, Hagley Park Events Village is fast becoming Hagley Park Ice Station.
NZ IceFest opens this Friday (14 September) for a month, and will include a fun filled calendar for the school holidays as well as the annual Season Opening to Antarctica.
NZ IceFest director Jo Blair said the pace of the setup for NZ IceFest was incredible.
“The task of bringing Antarctica to Christchurch has not been taken lightly! The outdoor skate rink with a giant image of an ice shelf as a backdrop is well on its way to becoming frozen, the familiar green of Scott Base is featured on our own Scott Base Café and Bar and Antarctic elements such as the Hagglunds and the pup tents in the Antarctic Centre’s Field Camp are all there. We even have the UC Geo Dome as our speakers’ and performers’ venue – it looks very much like the geodesic dome which stood at the South Pole for nearly 30 years.
“We’re really excited about bringing Christchurch together at the free family opening night – anyone who dresses as a penguin gets to skate for free and everybody can enjoy the warm hospitality, great entertainment, including a science rapper and fireworks at seven o’clock. Right in the middle of it all Christchurch chefs Andrew Brown, Richard Till, and Jonny Schwass are creating ’Antarctica on a plate’ to celebrate 100 years of New Zealand’s relationship with Antarctica.
A highlight of NZ IceFest’s first weekend will be Dr Chadden Hunter’s guest appearance at Frozen Planet Exposed on the opening weekend (Saturday 15 September and Sunday 16 September), with a special Kids Q&A on Sunday at 10.30am. Dr Hunter will share behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the epic BBC television series, Frozen Planet. He will discuss the challenges of filming in Antarctica, show never-before seen footage and discuss, using multimedia, the film-maker’s approach to climate change and the science behind the stories.
‘We’ve brought a fellow explorer to NZ IceFest, who can relate to some of the things that Scott went through 100 years after that early expedition’, says Ms Blair.
“The focus on exciting new knowledge, the desire to let the world know about frozen, wild places, being constantly confronted by danger, and struggling to adapt are things Dr Hunter knows a lot about. He is definitely going to help us bring Antarctica to Christchurch for NZ IceFest.
“Captain Scott used Christchurch as his New Zealand base for his 1901 and 1910 expeditions. Here in Christchurch we’ve invited over 100 speakers to NZ IceFest in the 100th anniversary year of his journey to the South Pole. I think Scott would be very pleased.”
Follow the festival @nzicefest on Twitter and visit www.nzicefest.co.nz