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Last week’s Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations were a big success, organising committee chairwoman Diane Lee says.

Sales of tickets to the various activities were strong, and some were filled to capacity, Mrs Lee said.

“We had double the usual numbers at the Garden Party.”

The committee had ensured local rest-homes were aware of the event in the Oamaru Public Gardens on the Friday afternoon, and took advantage of the free carriage rides on offer.

Palmerston North seamstress Nicola Temby wowed the audience at Saturday’s Historical Fashion Show. She had made five different corsets specially for the day, demonstrating how women achieved the various shapes that came into vogue during Victoria’s reign.

The Saturday night Ceilidh at the Scottish Hall was another popular attraction, where merrymakers sang the praises of the live music from Black Velvet Band.

Mrs Lee said the committee put a lot of work into greeting people and was pleased to note plenty of locals were enjoying the festivities alongside good numbers of visitors and travellers from overseas.

One young Spanish couple read about the celebrations on the internet and timed their arrival to coincide with it.

Another Spanish man who hired a plane to fly himself around New Zealand landed in Oamaru, discovered the celebrations, and stayed for an extra two days.

A German woman was thrilled with her transformation courtesy of the Victorian Wardrobe and took photographs throughout the festival.

New ideas had already come forth for next year, and helpers had put their hands up to put them into effect, Mrs Lee said.

Victorian photo-bomb. . . . Liane Rowe of Palmerston North, gracefully arabesques on roller skates past the assembled subjects of a victorian dress photograph on the steps of the Oamaru Opera House. PHOTO: ODT