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Mini IceFest to celebrate Antarctic Season Opening

Monday, 26 September 2016

Mini IceFest to celebrate Antarctic Season Opening

Photo by: Veronika Meduna © Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection, 2006-07

A C–17 Globemaster aircraft, Antarctic survival skills and a talk from our fellow Antarctic Gateway Cities are on the menu for a little taste of IceFest this year. The event will mark 60 years since the construction of Sir Edmund Hillary's trans-Antarctic expedition hut, the original Scott Base.

The full festival to celebrate Christchurch’s link to the Antarctic region will be back next year, but in the meantime mini IceFest will celebrate the start of this year’s Antarctic season with a streamlined programme of events, discussion and the unveiling of a new sled dog statue.

IceFest Director Chloë Dear says, “Mini IceFest will centre around Antarctic Air Day on Saturday 1 October, but there are a number of interesting events happening around the city over the next week. The season opening has a strong history for both Antarcticans and for Christchurch, so it is great to have a range of events to mark the occasion.”

“Antarctic Air Day will give the public the opportunity to board the specialist C–17 aircraft that transport scientists and equipment down to Antarctica. There will be a festival atmosphere to the day with Hägglunds rides, huskies, food trucks, displays and the International Antarctic Centre is providing discounts and entertainment.”

To find out more about the full range of events visit the IceFest website.

The mini IceFest schedule:

Antarctica New Zealand’s ‘Our Place in Antarctica’ Exhibition: 27–30 September, 9am–¬5pm, Christchurch City Council foyer, 53 Hereford Street.

Ever wondered what it takes to travel, survive and work in the coldest, windiest and driest continent on Earth? Find out from Antarctica New Zealand at their exhibition. If you miss this great exhibition there will be another chance to see this at Antarctic Air Day.

South America’s Gateway Cities to Antarctica: Thursday 29 September 6¬–7pm, The Piano, 156 Armagh Street

What makes an Antarctic Gateway City? Join the Argentinian and Chilean Ambassadors to Christchurch to hear their Antarctic Gateway stories and enjoy a Hispanic themed evening.

Antarctic Air Day: Saturday 1 October, 10am–4pm, Christchurch International Airport Tarmac, outside Antarctica New Zealand and the International Antarctic Centre, 38 Orchard Road

A chance to board the specialist C–17 that transports our scientists and supplies to Antarctica. Take the opportunity to visit the International Antarctic Centre and have a Hägglunds ride while you’re there.

Unveiling of the Sled Dog Statue: Saturday 1 October, 2.30pm, corner of London and Canterbury Streets, Lyttelton

The unveiling of Mark Whyte’s Sled Dog sculpture will be marked in association with the New Zealand Antarctic Society. The statue recognises and celebrates Lyttelton’s contribution to exploration in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

South to Antarctica Church Service: Sunday 2 October, 10am, Transitional Cathedral, 234 Hereford Street

Join together with family and friends to bid those travelling to Antarctica during the 2016–17 season a safe and successful journey.

Wreath Laying Ceremony: Sunday 2 October, 11.30am, Scott Statue plinth, corner of Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace

The wreath laying ceremony is a tradition that started in the 1930s when Admiral Richard Byrd laid a wreath at the Scott Statue. Join the New Zealand Antarctic Society and Antarctic New Zealand in paying tribute to the Antarcticans who currently serve and those who have gone before.

– ends –

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