Stilts `add another level’ to festival

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Frigid temperatures will probably be experienced by everyone who packs Harbour St for Oamaru Fire and Steam on Friday night _ but there are plenty of ways to warm up.
This year’s edition of the annual event is set to be the biggest yet.
One of the new attractions will come from Queenstown-based Flame Entertainment, which will bring along its fire stilt duo.
Flame Entertainment co-founder Milly Begley said it would be the first time the duo would perform at Oamaru Fire and Steam.
“When they’re on stilts, the girls will be dressed up representing fire, wearing red, orange and gold. Every now and then they will be performing with fire and other props.
“The girls also have winged capes so when they’re not using fire, they’ll be dancing.”She said the duo would “definitely” use fire fans and also fire umbrellas if weather conditions allowed.
While Flame Entertainment has used variations on the theme in the past, it has created a special performance for Oamaru Fire and Steam.
Ms Begley said she had not been to the event before but had heard plenty about it and looked forward to the festivities.
“It’s our first time so we’re looking forward to it. Over the years, I’ve seen photos and heard a little bit about it online. It seems like a great wee event. Hopefully, we will really add to the festive atmosphere there and add another level of height and fire above.”Tourism Waitaki event co-ordinator Brooke Kofoed said everything was in place for an entertaining night.
“People can expect to be amazed by stilt-walking fire performers, special visual effects from Golding Arts and professional fire dancers. “An exciting line-up of local musicians covering many genres and of course the magnificent masquerade inspired by Donna Demente is a must-see.
“Lanterns will be lighting the sky throughout the evening and the kids disco which is a hit each year, will be again filling the Smith’s Grain store along with some friendly Waitaki youth councillors to keep all young ones entertained. A huge variety of food stalls, fire drums and coffee vans will fill the streets to keep everyone warm for this winter festival.”Musical acts on the main stage at the Wansbeck St end of the Victorian Precinct include the Waitaki Polynesian Dance Group, The Reveal (playing global and Kiwi classics) and Dee May and the Saints (swing, rock `n roll and blues).
The Saggy Britches Band (country), Vanessa Kelly (blues) and local rock band Ubersnatch will perform on the second stage at the north end of Harbour St.
Oamaru Fire and Steam takes place on Harbour St between 6.30pm and 9pm on Friday.