Messages of hope pinned to trees and flowers floating along the city's waterways will help Christchurch residents commemorate the third anniversary of the February 22 earthquake.
People have been invited to throw flowers at various sites along the Avon, Heathcote and Liffey rivers and at the estuary as part of the River of Flowers event tomorrow.
Healthy Christchurch's Michelle Whitaker said the event gave people an opportunity to connect on the anniversary of the 2011 quake and share their experiences and hopes for the future.
At least 15 sites along the various waterways would be open from 8am to 8pm, most hosted by community groups between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
Two minutes' silence would be observed at each site at 12.51pm.
Avon-Otakaro Network co- chairman Evan Smith said thousands of people had taken part in the event during the first and second anniversaries of the quake as it gave them a chance to "reflect, connect and look to the future".
"With the third anniversary falling on a Saturday we anticipate even higher levels of participation as more people come together to celebrate our strength."
Those who attended the city's official Civic Memorial Service at the Botanical Gardens tomorrow would also be invited to participate in the River of Flowers after the ceremony finished.
Christchurch City Council civic and international relations manager Duncan Sandeman said the River of Flowers site at the Peace Bell footbridge was only a few steps from the memorial service on the Archery Lawn.
"Anyone who wants to . . . [can] let their flowers fall into the Avon as a symbol of letting go and coming to terms with their grief," Sandeman said.
FEBRUARY 22 ANNIVERSARY EVENTS
Civic Memorial Service
The city's official Civic Memorial Service commemorating the third anniversary of the February 22 earthquake will be held on the Archery Lawn at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens from 12pm. The event will include an address by Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and an official wreath laying. The names of the 185 people who died in the quake will be read out and a minute's silence will be held at 12.51pm. A live feed will be available at ccc.govt.nz/22feb.
River of Flowers
A number of sites will be set up along the Avon, Heathcote and Liffey rivers and at the estuary for Cantabrians to join in the River of Flowers. The sites will be open from 8am to 8pm and hosted by community groups between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. Participants can play flowers in the waterways and write messages on a tree of hope. Two minutes of silence will also be held at each site at 12.51pm.
Memorial Service at the Transitional Cathedral
A memorial service will be held at the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square from 5.30pm to 6pm and is open to those who lost a loved one in the 2011 earthquake or would went through the disaster. The Cathedral will also display the Kahikatea Earthquake Memorial Sculpture for the first time, with those attending the memorial invited to place a twig on the sculpture and make a personal prayer.
Mitre 10 Mega - A Run to Remember
The run begins at Victoria Park on Dyers Pass Rd at 9am, with adult tickets available for $15 and child tickets for $10 by calling 03 375 4860. All proceeds will be donated to the Canterbury Earthquake Children's Trust, helping those who lost a parent in the February 2011 quake.
Twilight Sounds: Live Music in Burwood's Backyard
A free community event featuring live music and activities for children from 4.30pm to 7pm at the Waitakiri School River Campus, 225 New Brighton Rd.
Twilight in the Park
A community event featuring live music, stalls, food and children's activities at the MacFarlane Park Neighbourhood Centre, 17 Acheson Ave, from 5pm to 8pm.
RIVER OF FLOWERS SITES
- © Fairfax NZ News
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