COVID-19: Addington Cup Day sells out despite ticket restrictions

It's the biggest event on Canterbury's social calendar, but the crowds for Addington's Cup Day have been smaller than usual.

While the event has operated at COVID-19 Alert Level 1, this year's Cup Day is different - QR codes at the gate, hand sanitiser stations at the ready.

Last year's event drew a crowd of more than 20,000 people, but this year, organisers capped ticket numbers to just 12,000.

Addington chief executive Bryan Thompson tells Newshub hospitality services have been reduced by 30 percent.

"We usually start back in June - start the preparations," he says.

"We got a little bit nervous in August, when we went back into Level 2, so we had to do a few more things around that to reduce the risk for the club."

With tickets selling out weeks ago, many were ready to let their hair down and celebrate the biggest day on Canterbury's social calendar.

About 60 contestants strutted their stuff for the annual Fashion in the Field (FOTF) competition. 

"It's been fun to be able to do something, and also be here and dress up for an occasion," FOTF competitor Rachel Blyth says.

Abby Button spent lockdown designing her outfit for the big day. 

"We needed a reason, something to look forward to, something to dress up for," she says. "It's definitely been something to look forward to through this crazy year."

Dylan Booysens was sashed best-dressed man, while Laura Campbell trotted away with the coveted best-dressed lady award. 

"It's really, really exciting," Campbell says. "This is the first major win I've had in many, many years."

Police say the smaller crowds have been well-behaved.

The dancing and revelry is likely to continue long into the evening, as Canterbury celebrates being able to party.