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Free Fanzones the place to be for Rugby World Cup 2011 fun

Monday 29 August 2011

Free Fanzones the place to be for Rugby World Cup 2011 fun

ROTORUA 29.08.11: Rotorua District Council’s events unit, Events & Venues Rotorua, is putting on 10 free Fanzones so Rotorua residents and visitors can be part of the festive atmosphere of Rugby World Cup 2011.

The Fanzones are targeted at families and offer a safe, warm, friendly fun environment for watching matches live on a giant screen and enjoying local entertainment and food.

Rotorua’s first Fanzone will be on Friday 9 September at the Energy Events Centre to coincide with the launch of Rugby World Cup 2011. It will be open from 6pm to 10.30pm with both the opening ceremony and the New Zealand vs Tonga match shown live on the big screen.

The council’s Rugby World Cup coordinator Renee Nathan said the first Fanzone will be themed around ‘Kiwiana and Pasifika.’

“We’ll be giving away some great prizes on the night including one for the best dressed couple. Live entertainment and food will also follow the evening’s Kiwiana and Pasifika theme with treats like hangi pies on the menu.”

Mrs Nathan said local entertainment would start two hours before match kick-off and would include this year’s kapa haka regional competition winners Te Raukura Kapa Haka, and Rotorua Boys and Girls High Schools’ Pacific Island group.

“We’ll also have Rotorua Boys High School’s Stage Challenge performance, displays from Rotorua Entertains, Avarau Cook Islands Performing Group, and the band ‘Major’ with Mereana Wilson.

“MC Steve Comber will anchor the night of fun and celebration along with guest MC Jolene Elliott.”

“Youngsters will also be well catered for with an interactive kiddies’ zone featuring a bouncy castle, big screen and other activities to keep them occupied.

Other dates Rotorua’s Fanzones will be operating are September 16 and 24, and October 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21 and 23. The Fanzones coinciding with the RWC2011 quarter finals on October 8 and 9 October will be at the Rotorua Convention Centre while all others will be at the Energy Events Centre.

The Fanzone concept is the first of its kind for New Zealand and is being replicated throughout the country during Rugby World Cup 2011.

Mrs Nathan said the council was conscious that many local people wouldn’t be able to attend out-of-town matches, especially those where the All Blacks were playing.

“So we want to provide a safe and inexpensive option especially for families to experience this once-in-a-lifetime tournament and to celebrate and have fun together.

“You don’t have to be a hardened Rugby fan to come along to our free Fanzones. They’re really for everyone. Each Fanzone will be themed and we’ll have different entertainment and food for people to enjoy. “


As well as Fanzones Rotorua has plenty of other events taking place in and around the city to coincide with Rugby World Cup 2011, as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival .

RDC events manager Martin Croft said there were around 150 events listed so far, with more than 100 of them taking place in September alone.

“All of these are listed online at with all the details about dates, venues, times, costs etc.

“This level of events is way above what we would usually experience at this time of the year. It shows everyone is getting right behind the celebrations and that there’s going to be heaps happening in Rotorua during Rugby World Cup 2011.

“We’re expecting a big influx of visitors during these two months and there’s no doubt they’ll be spoiled for choice for things to do while they’re in our city,” said Mr Croft.


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