The 150th anniversary celebrations of the Ashburton Domain start on Sunday October 26th with plenty of activities and attractions for the whole family.
The month long celebrations will open with a commemorative tree planting by Ashburton District Mayor Angus McKay and the start of the Sculpture Symposium, followed by a range of events including sporting fixtures, vintage car displays, a family day, special church service, market stalls, a concert and guided tours.
Council's Open Spaces Manager David Askin says of the 12 sculptors who've registered for the two-week symposium, 11 will be carving from Mt Somers stone and one from Timaru bluestone. When completed the sculptures will be displayed around the Domain and are being auctioned on November 30.
The sculpture symposium carvers will be based at the large grass area beyond the paddling pool at the corner of Walnut Ave/West Street.
Mr Askin says the anniversary programme will also pay tribute to the Grigg family who are celebrating 150 years from when their descendants first arrived in the Ashburton District.
John Grigg was one of the first committee members of the Ashburton Domain Board and this will be highlighted with the unveiling of a plaque on the John Grigg statue in Baring Square over Labour Weekend.
Mr Askin says a number of the original trees in the Domain come from John Grigg's Longbeach estate and the black wrought iron gates at the entrance to the Domain on West Street were built in the Longbeach foundry.
On Sunday November 23rd a Service of Thanksgiving is being held at St Andrews Presbyterian Church and there'll also be a number of sporting activities happening as part of the celebrations with many of the local sporting clubs holding special events to mark the 150th anniversary.
"It's going to be a busy and fun anniversary that's going to have appeal to people of all ages," says Mr Askin. "The Domain is looking a picture of colour with all the spring and summer flowers."
The grand finale of the celebrations is on November 30th with a family day in the Domain where there will be a concert from the Ashburton Civic Music Council, food and craft stalls, 20/20 cricket matches, a teddy bears picnic, guided tours around the Domain and many other activities.
Click here for more information about the Domain's 150th anniversary celebrations