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City celebrates opening of Antarctic summer season


City celebrates opening of Antarctic summer season

Christchurch is going all out this year to mark the opening of the Antarctic Summer Season and show the importance of Antarctica to the city.

>From 1-9 October, there will be a feast of Antarctic related activities including exhibitions showcasing Antarctica's stunning landscape, talks on what it's like to live on the ice, presentations on scientific discoveries, the Hagglund Charity Challenge and a raft of kids' activities.

The laying of a wreath at the Scott Memorial on Oxford Tce starts the programme on Saturday 1 October at 10am. On the same day, there will be plenty happening at the International Antarctic Centre including the Hagglund Charity Challenge, 2pm-5pm; a United States Antarctic Programme exhibition of Antarctic clothing, photographs and information, 10am- 4pm; and readings from writers from the ice - Margaret Mahy and Bernadette Hall, 2pm-4.30pm.

Places are still available for teams wanting to test their skills at moving the mighty Antarctic Hagglund. Money will go to the Rainbow Children's Health Trust.

Being There, Memories From the Ice is expected to be another popular feature of the Season Opening programme, featuring Baden Norris talking informally about his experiences in Antarctica at Warners Hotel, Christchurch ( Monday 3 October, 7pm) and The British Hotel, Lyttelton ( Tuesday 4 October, 7pm).

Everyday, from 1-9 October, children will be able to join in Cliff's Antarctic Adventure by using clues to solve a puzzle at the Canterbury Museum. There will be a prize for everyone who solves the mystery. On Wednesday 5 October, children will also have the opportunity to design and make an Antarctic t-shirt at CORE Education Ltd, cnr Manchester and Armagh Streets. Bookings essential.

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For anyone interested in the science and history of Antarctica, the Christchurch Antarctic Season Opening offers plenty. Among the highlights will be a lecture on giant icebergs creating havoc in Antarctica (University of Canterbury Rm A1, Friday 7 October, 7pm); Sir Neil Cosson's lecture on Key Issues Facing Heritage Sites in the World (Old Boys' Theatre, Christ's College, Sunday 9 October, 3.30pm) and Dr Suruj Seunarine's lectures on Neutrinos - Here, There, Everywhere (Christchurch Girls' High School, Wednesday 5 October, 6pm).

Other events well worth attending include In From The cold - a multi disciplinary exhibition of Antarctic inspired artwork at the Christchurch Art Gallery; Canterbury Museum's showing of a canvas backpack and pony mask uncovered last summer from Sir Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition; and a display of Antarctic memorabilia at Lyttleton Museum, Gladstone Quay.

For further information about all the events in the Christchurch Antarctic Season Opening programme visit the website www.antarctic-link.org.nz, pick up a copy of the programme from a Christchurch City Library or Council Service Centre or phone 941 6877. Bookings are required for some activities.

Supporters of the Antarctic Season Opening programme include Christchurch City Council, The Press and member organisations of Antarctic Link Canterbury. See www.antarctic-link.org.nz

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