Ellerslie Flower Show draws near

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013
Ellerslie Garden Show prep
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ

EXTINCT, BUT DISTINCT: John Aloaki, Adam Shuter (obscured) and Ben Thornton manoeuvre a driftwood moa into place for the Ellerslie Flower Show.

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Ellerslie Flower Show organisers hope the weather gods continue to shine on them as they prepare for the annual event.

The 2013 show will run from March 6 to 10.

Show managing director Dave Mee said preparations were going smoothly, with a run of good weather providing perfect conditions for garden designers.

Mee said work at Hagley Park would "scale up massively" this weekend, with up to 800 people expected to be on site.

Ticket sales were slightly ahead of last year, and organisers hoped to beat the 2012 attendance of just over 45,000 people.

"We're aiming to get about 50,000 people to this year's show but some of that will depend on whether the weather plays its part," Mee said.

Ticket sales outside Christchurch were higher than last year, while international tour groups were also returning to the city for the show.

"It looks like more people are keen to travel here and less afraid of Christchurch as a destination, which is great to hear."

The company which runs the show, Flower Show Management, had expressed its desire to have its contract renewed for another five years when it expired at the end of March.

"We're very keen to continue, we'd probably all feel we had some unfinished business if we didn't go on," said Mee, who is contracted by the company.

The Christchurch City Council was likely to decide by the middle of the year.

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