City in party mode for big game

New Plymouth's party preparations have hit high gear ahead of tomorrow night's test match at Yarrow Stadium.

Festivities are set to get under way tonight before the third and final test match between the All Blacks and France.

The match is a sellout with more than 23,000 fans expected to attend and enjoy New Plymouth's reputation for putting on quality entertainment.

Tonight Peggy Gordon's has a street party under the big top featuring 1814, Soulovus and Katchafire, while across the road the Mayfair is hoping to warm up the rugby crowd with Supergroove.

Limited door sales for both gigs are still available.

Egmont St, between Devon and King streets, was closed last night so the big-top tent could be set up.

Owner Bertie Burleigh said despite the forecast of rain and strong winds, he still expected good crowds.

"Everything is undercover . . . and there will be some good music and good times," he said.

"I'm still expecting it to be a big weekend in town."

Teen heart-throbs Titanium will play in the big top from noon to 3pm tomorrow and promoters have slashed ticket prices to $15.

Mr Burleigh said anyone who had paid full price for a ticket could bring a friend along for free.

The tent would then become the official Steinlager fan zone for the test match and those who weren't lucky enough to secure a ticket can watch it on the 14-metre big- screen television.

A range of food including curries, barbecue and deli food will be available from 3pm.

"The All Blacks coming to town is special. We've put on a big party for them, so we trust everybody will have a good time," Mr Burleigh said.

Meanwhile, Mayfair and Westbar co-owner Kymon Hill didn't believe the forecast bad weather would put footy fans off.

"I don't think people will care, it is a huge weekend for New Plymouth and it will be a great night," Mr Hill said.

Westbar had been booked out for dinner tomorrow about a month earlier, and pre-match entertainment, including promo girls and the Tui tackle machine, will start at 4pm.

"If you hit it hard enough it spits out a free Tui," Mr Hill said.

Taranaki Daily News