By 3 News online staff
Cantabrians are waking up to what is the biggest day on the region’s social calendar.
The official New Zealand Trotting Cup Day festivities at Addington Raceway kick off just before midday, but over 20,000 punters are expected to start flocking to the raceway in just a few hours.
Cup Week has grown steadily each year and now generates millions of dollars for the region.
“It's a huge week for business, it's a week of celebration and a week of spending and that's great for our community,” says Peter Townsend of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.
Since the 2011 earthquakes the suburb of Addington has transformed: Lincoln Road is now a hub for new developments and cafes and bars and is the main thoroughfare to and from the festivities.
The week is made up of five key racing events and the Canterbury A&P Show, with a visit from Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles the icing on the cake.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told Firstline this morning he was extremely excited for today’s racing event.
“It’s a crazy sort of a celebration of what Canterbury is – people come in from all around the province,” he says.
Visitors from all around New Zealand are also expected for the week-long event. Mr Parker says around 60 percent of the city’s pre-quake accommodation is now available.
And despite early cloud and a brisk wind, he says the sun is expected to come out this afternoon.
“There’s a brisk feeling in the air but that will be replaced by a lot of noise, a lot of fun, a lot people doing good business and hopefully lifting the cares and woes of the world off their shoulders.”
A large part of the week is of course the fashion. Lindauer Style Ambassador Colin Mathura-Jeffree told Firstline this morning that Cup Week was a chance for people to dress extravagantly.
“This is the chance that people really do peacock themselves out there. So for women it will be fascinators and wonderful hats, beautiful dresses and skirts and high heel shoes… and for men it’s obviously suits and hats and style all the way – very exciting.”
Watch the video for Firstline’s interview with both Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and Colin Mathura-Jeffree.