Fire and Steam Festival set to run

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Oamaru is about to get hot and steamy.
Fire and Steam Festival 2016 bursts into life at 6.30pm next Friday. Harbour St will be alive with special lighting effects, walls of fire, live bands, street performers, and stalls selling food and drinks.
The shops along the street will also be open throughout the event, which finishes at 9pm.
Fire and Steam is aimed at families, with an admission fee of $5 per person. The music had been chosen to provide something for all tastes and ages, Tourism Waitaki events co-ordinator Brooke Kofoed said.
On the main stage in the Wansbeck St extension, the Waitaki Polynesian Dance Group will bring Pacific island culture to an autumn evening, The Reveal will play stripped-back classics with a Kiwi flavour, and Dee May and the Saints will warm up the crowds with swing, rockabilly, rock’n’roll and blues.
On stage at the northern end of Harbour St, Saggy Britches will add a country touch, Vanessa Kelly will sing the blues, and Ubersnatch will add a rock vibe.
Daredevils from Flame Entertainment will perform feats with fire on stilts, Canterbury’s Josh Grimaldi will complete gasp-inducing circus stunts, the Waitaki Youth Council will be painting faces and a children’s disco will be the perfect place for younger attendees to let off their own steam.
The event will conclude with a mask parade featuring Oamaru artist Donna Demente’s works and masks made by primary school pupils she has tutored in recent weeks.
Wind permitting, lanterns will be released as the finale.
As everyone makes their way out of Harbour St, they will be able to marvel at the steampunk aficionados heading to the Loan & Merc for a late-night celebration as part of the Steampunk NZ Festival Weekend.
Mrs Kofoed said the entertainment and food stalls had been laid out to allow a smooth flow of people along Harbour St and into the Wansbeck St extension. More toilets are being provided this year, in response to public demand.
And one more thing . . . a surprise is being kept under wraps until the big night. Tourism Waitaki refuses to divulge any details, but assures everyone that if they are in Harbour St for Fire and Steam, they will not miss it.