Many Cantabrians have experienced and remarked on the renewed sense of community and friendship that has emerged following the tragic February earthquake. Among those pitching in to get the region back on its feet have been the team at The Palms Shopping Centre, which is currently working towards reopening.
Having announced that the first sector of The Palms will reopen its doors by the target completion date of 30 June 2011, with three more sectors to follow, the centre staff and management are preparing to host a community Market Day. To be held at the Shirley Intermediate School grounds on Saturday 9 April, the Market Day will run between 10am and 3pm, with marquee cover in the event of bad weather.
The Palms Shopping Centre Manager Keryn Ward said, “We have worked closely with our retailers since the earthquake to compile our reopening plan. A common goal for management and retailers was to reconnect with our customers face-to-face and start to restore our community engagement. This is very important to us and we’re excited about hosting the Market Day event, which we believe will be a fun day for the whole family.”
The Market Day provides an opportunity for locals to enjoy some light entertainment: a haka by students from Shirley Boys’ High School, music from local school groups, and other bands. There will also be face-painting for the kids by Stacey Smith, The Palms’ resident face-painter and the winner of Christchurch’s inaugural Face Painter of the Year Competition in 2007. Stall holders from the Art Centre’s regular markets will also be in attendance with their much-admired arts, crafts, food and jewellery.
Retailers at The Palms are looking forward to the chance to catch up with customers, and many say they have missed the routine of attending their stores and chatting to regular shoppers. Attending retailers include Stirling Sports, Strand Bags, Silvermoon, Digital Mobile, Cosmic Corner, Mister Minute, The Flower Gallery, Gloria Jeans, King of Knives, Credit Union, The Coffee Guy, ASB, BNZ and ANZ.
There will be plenty of action on the day with students from Shirley Boys’ High School fundraising and showing their might on rowing ergs, while stylists from Hair Co & Beauty Co will be offering haircuts for donations to the Mayoral Fund.
Shirley Library’s mobile library bus will be on the scene so locals can catch up with their favourite characters. There will also be information readily available for attendees regarding local services and community organisations, plus an update from local MP Aaron Gilmore.
Popular radio host, Hilary Muir from The Breeze has warmed up her vocal chords and will act as MC, keeping attendees entertained and informed of what’s going on at the Market Day.