Fanzones kick into top gear

After six weeks of wall-to-wall rugby, it will all be decided in 80 minutes tomorrow night, when the All Blacks take on France in the Rugby World Cup final.

Although the game is at Auckland's Eden Park, Nelson and Tasman residents will not have to look far to enjoy the tournament spirit, with the game being screened in pubs around the area, as well as in the two fanzones.

Nelson's fanzone had 2000 fans last week, and more are expected for tomorrow night's game. It can hold up to 5000 fans. It features a seven-metre by three-metre screen for the games and pre-match entertainment from 6pm with bands Wicked Draw and Pacha Atma and street performers.

Rugby World Cup 2011 Nelson communications manager Angela Ricker said fans should remember that the fanzone is supposed to be alcohol-free and family friendly.

"Last Sunday there were heaps of kids there, so we hope this Sunday will be just as packed with people wanting the same experience. The atmosphere has been tremendous for the semis, and with the ABs in the final it's going to be even better." Upper Trafalgar St will be shut from 5am tomorrow until early Monday morning.

Tasman residents will have their own fanzone at the Motueka Recreation Centre. It will have space for 500 people and will have an 8m by 4m high-definition projector display, grandstand seating, a licensed bar and cafe, and a separate zone for children.

Doors open at 6pm and Dog on a Bonnet play from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Meals are available at the cafe and there is a supervised play area for children. Drinks are $5, the bar closes at midnight and courtesy vans will drop punters off in High St afterwards.  RWC journey, p2; Rugby Heaven, p10-12

The Nelson Mail