Rugby’s Fanzone opened on Friday evening with a flourish, attracting a capacity crowd to watch the Rugby World Cup 2015 Opening Ceremony and the opening match: England v Fiji.
Fanzone visitors enjoyed the Opening Ceremony on large screen HD, and greeted the opening scenes showing the birthplace of the game with applause.
Visitors were also able to enjoy the Wasps activity zone, a haka, live music from Duke’s Jetty, Speak, Brother, the Paper Street Soap Company and the Hillmorton Community Choir.
Local rugby clubs also ran tag rugby games on a miniature pitch, while children’s entertainers, Shaun the Sheep and the Guinness World Record rugby freestyle champion kept families entertained.
More than 7,000 people attended the Fanzone over the opening weekend, with more than 3,000 going on the opening day.
Cllr Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “With millions of television viewers shown the story of the birthplace of the game, the spotlight is well and truly on us. And with capacity crowds in the Fanzone and international media visits continuing into the Tournament, our investment is paying off.
“The Fanzone is operational, the gateways to the town and the town centre itself look stunning, and the free town centre wi-fi service is operational. I am absolutely thrilled with the start of our Rugby World Cup celebrations, and hope that residents and visitors make the most of the Fanzone and Enjoy Rugby Festival.”
The Enjoy Rugby Festival continues this week with a one-man theatre performance of Grav, celebrating the life of Ray Gravell, a talk on contemporary needlework, live music with Mallory Knox, and the inaugural Rugby Drinks Festival.
More information on festival events and match screening is available at www.enjoyrugby.co.uk