Nelson Regional Development Agency CEO Mark Rawson, left, and Tasman Rugby Union CEO Tony Lewis with the fun face-hole board which is at the Nelson i-Site and is being used as part of an online competition. Photo: Charles Anderson.

All Blacks to bring party to Nelson

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Nelson city will play host to a “huge” street party ahead of the All Blacks first-ever test match to be played in Nelson, on September 8.

“With Nelson being the birthplace of rugby in New Zealand in 1870, it is only fair that we celebrate the historic occasion of our first-ever All Blacks test match,” says Nelson Regional Development Agency chief executive Mark Rawson.

That means, from 1pm to 5.30pm, on the day the All Blacks play Argentina at Trafalgar Park, Nelson will become a place to treat the family to a taste of Kiwi and Argentinian culture, local artisan food, history, entertainment and a dedicated family area.

Upper Trafalgar Street will be also closed to vehicles and a main entertainment stage is confirmed for 1903 Square with a range of cultural entertainment and performances.

“Explore the shops, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, then make your way to the game and participate in rugby history,” says Mark. “Or, if you don’t have a ticket, stay in town to watch it at one of the many CBD bars and restaurants.”

There will also be a pop-up app on the Nelson App with loads of information and updates live from 24 August and a dedicated page on the Nelson Tasman website with information to keep everyone up to date across the board.

“It’s all about the birthplace of rugby in Nelson, celebrating this historic occasion, having fun with the whole family and enjoying our beautiful Nelson CBD.”

Mayor Rachel Reese says she is looking forward to the match.

“Nelson is proud to host the All Blacks and Argentina, and welcome the many visitors to our city and region. This will be an incredible event for us to showcase our extraordinary region to the rugby world, bringing an international fixture to the birthplace of New Zealand rugby. It will be an experience to remember.”

The Experience Rugby History Fan Trail has received sponsorship funding from the Nelson Events Marketing & Development Programme, which is funded by the Nelson City Council.

There are still some tickets available to the game which are obtainable at allblacks.com