Wide range of talent for Christmas in the Park

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2012
Levings School of Dance
KIRK HARGREAVES

LIVELY EXPECTATIONS: Dancers from Levings School of Dance enjoy the Christmas in the Park practice in North Hagley Park as Tumehe Rongonui, presenter of Four Live, performs.

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Christmas in the Park's "best lineup ever" will prompt a good turnout at tonight's event, organisers hope.

Event manager John Searle said they were hoping for similar numbers to last year.

"We had a big crowd so if we attracted the same amount again I'd be really, really happy, given what's happened in Christchurch," he said.

This year's show will be headlined by Kiwi singer Dane Rumble, and supported by other popular domestic artists such as Drew Neemia and Michael Murphy.

It will be hosted by More FM's Gary McCormick and Simon Barnett.

Show "godparents" Jackie Clarke and Frankie Stevens will perform throughout the night.

Searle said the inclusion of such a wide range of acts meant some of his team believed this year's lineup was the best the event had ever had.

There had also been a focus on including plenty of local talent.

"We worked hard to get as many Christchurch or South Island-based people in the show as possible," he said.

Christchurch resident Michael Doody, 18, will perform at Christmas in the Park for the first time this year, and is planning to do a One Direction song.

"I've always wanted to do Christmas in the Park.

"I'm really looking forward to it - it's going to be awesome."

Doody has performed on the Erin Simpson Show and with the Royal New Zealand Army Band.

Another performer is Ria Hall, who opened the last year's Rugby World Cup.

The show will begin at 7.30pm and ends at 10.10pm.

Limited car parking is available in North Hagley Park for a gold coin donation, with entry off Harper Ave. Parking is also available for disabled drivers with entry off Harper Ave. Park Tce between Bealey Ave and Salisbury St will be closed from 6pm.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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