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After nearly two years of cancelled events, it’s more important than ever to embrace community activities, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher says.

The Waitaki District Council is welcoming everyone back to its facilities this weekend, with a range of activities at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru Public Library, Oamaru Opera House, Waitaki Aquatic Centre and Waitaki Museum and Archive.

Mr Kircher said it had been a tough few years, with Covid-19 putting paid to many events and making planning future events difficult.

This weekend was a way to celebrate being able to do ‘‘normal things again’’, he said.

‘‘It’s a great acknowledgement that different facilities are getting together to actually say, ‘Hey, we’re here and we’re providing great services to the community’.’’

Mr Kircher will be involved in the weekend himself, hosting ‘‘story time with the mayor’’ at the Oamaru Public Library at 11am tomorrow.

One of the greatest things people could share with children was a love of reading and Mr Kircher was looking forward to reading to children at the library.

Tales to tell . . . Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher is preparing to host story time with the mayor at the Oamaru Library tomorrow. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Waitaki District Libraries manager Jenny Bean said the event followed on from the story book trail during the school holidays, which highlighted the importance of literacy.

‘‘It doesn’t matter, young or old, everybody can read to their children and it’s great that the mayor wants to participate in that,’’ Ms Bean said.

Tomorrow, Forrester Gallery curator Imogen Stockwell will host a tour of the Maritza Boutique/Oamaru-London exhibition, celebrating Oamaru’s fashion design history.

The Oamaru Opera House will host a free screening of The Greatest Showman at 4pm tomorrow. It was set to stage Voices Love Opera on Sunday, but it has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Waitaki Museum curator Henry Buckenham will host a hands-on activity on Sunday, helping visitors learn how the past is constructed from skeletal remains and fossils.

The Waitaki Aquatic Centre will have events both days, including learn to swim sessions and giant inflatable course.

Children can also take part in a scavenger hunt, following treasure map clues in the
Oamaru Mail to collect stamps across all the facilities.