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Nelson gets ready for Opera in the Park 2018

All the right elements are coming together for one of Nelson’s favourite biennial events.

What: Opera in the Park
When: Saturday 24 February, 7.30-10pm. Gates open at 5.30pm
Where: Saxton Oval, Stoke
Cost: Adult $25, child (5-15) $5, child under 5 FREE (prices exclude TicketDirect service fee)

Preparations and rehearsals are well underway for one of Nelson’s largest biennial events – Nelson Opera in the Park on Saturday 24 February at Saxton Oval.

Nelson Brass Band musicians have been polishing their instruments, with Musical Director Nigel Weeks leading rehearsals for the pre-show entertainment.

Nelson band Anaglypta has just been added to the pre-show entertainment line-up.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is particularly excited about returning to Nelson after five years. Rehearsals are scheduled with the performers in Wellington in the days leading up to the event.

On the night, NBus is providing a FREE bus service between Nelson and Saxton Oval. Buses leave from the Nelson Bus station on Bridge Street, travelling via both Bishopdale and Tahunanui. The first bus will leave at approximately 4.15pm. Buses will travel from Saxton Field back to Nelson after the event. For further information on the free buses, contact NBus at or 03 548 3290.

Those driving to the event should access the main carpark from the entrance on Salisbury Road/Main Road Stoke, opposite Wakatū Industrial Estate. People are encouraged to avoid upper Saxton Road, which will be reduced to a single lane by roadworks.

Councillor Gaile Noonan, Chair of the Community Services Committee, said, “With the event just over a week away, I know that our team is working hard to have everything ready for what promises to be an extraordinary evening. With ticket sales indicating a capacity crowd, I encourage everyone to plan their travel to and from the event so that everything runs as smoothly as possible. And if I had any influence on the weather, I would make it as perfect as the entertainment will be."

At the event, there will be designated areas for those with picnic rugs and low chairs, who will be seated in front of people with standard-height chairs.

One of the well-known highlights of the event is the impressive picnics that people bring – with some being weeks in the planning! There will also be a range of food stalls and licenced bars onsite. The event is BYO alcohol, although people are encouraged to use plastic glasses to reduce the likelihood of broken glass on the cricket ground.

Event organisers recommend bringing something warm to wear for the end of the evening, as well as a torch to help light the way.

Opera in the Park is part of Nelson City Council’s Summer Events, featuring in the Summer Events Guide, which is full of community, cultural, sports and recreation events.

For further information and updates, go to ‘summerinnelson’ Facebook page or

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