by Katie Todd, Christchurch Reporter
As Christchurch's Cup and Show week gets underway today, organisers are bracing for what could be their biggest turnout yet.
Up to 200,000 people are expected to flock to events in the city over the coming days, including a higher proportion of overseas visitors than previously seen.
The event brings together races at Addington and Riccarton Racecourse, and the annual New Zealand Agricultural Show.
ChristchurchNZ general manager of destination and attraction Loren Heaphy said Cup and Show week was the most recognised racing, fashion and agricultural festival in the country.
"The show is hugely iconic on the Christchurch events' calendar and a really big part of the Christchurch story. We know that as Christchurch has continued to rebuild and rejuvenate"
She said there had been a strong interest from the Chinese tourists.
The week begins at Riccarton Racecourse this morning with 2000 Guineas' Day.
Five other racing events will follow throughout the week including the Trotting Cup Day at Addington on Tuesday and 1000 Guineas' Day on Saturday.
From Wednesday through to Friday the Canterbury Agricultural Park will accommodate 3000 farm animals for the New Zealand Agricultural Show.
Formally known as the Canterbury A&P Show, it is the largest event of its kind in the country.
Alongside the regular fixtures like shearing, wood chopping, dog, cattle, horse and sheep shows, a new strongman competition and medieval battle are on the schedule this year.