Roll up, roll up . . . Get your programme for the 2019 Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations.
The shiny new publication is available across the district at places including libraries, information centres, and Whitestone City.
Inside are details of more than 50 activities to enjoy from November 13 to 17.
This year’s “Wheels” theme is integral to many of the entertainments, showing how pivotal this invention was to the colonial town’s burgeoning industry and social life.
Oamaru was famous for its uptake of new technology such as the Pelton wheel turbine and for embracing the new-fangled “safety” cycles as a means of transport. Not only were they easier to ride than their predecessor, the penny-farthing, but they were also a means of independence for daring women who threw off the constrictions of Victorian convention.
The celebrations are a combination of crowd favourites from previous years and new events to cater for all ages and tastes.
The grand opening is on the Oamaru Opera House steps at 5pm on Thursday, November 14, followed by a choice of three evening exploits – a walking tour, a recreation of a musical evening at the Atalanta Ladies’ Cycling Club, and the R18 Gentlemen’s Relish, with burlesque, circus, and comedy.
Among Friday’s highlights are the annual Great Photo Opportunity for everyone in heritage costume, the Crombie & Price Victorian Garden Party, and Queen Victoria’s Birthday Ball.
Alternatives that night are a show by puppeteer Norbert Hausberg with his handcrafted marionettes, Musical Theatre Oamaru’s “Wheely Wheely Gwate Concert”, and the Royal Variety Concert.
Saturday is chock-full of possibilities, from the Whitestone Contracting Grand Street Parade and the penny-farthing and rowing races to a literary look at Victorian influences on Janet Frame’s writing, a teddy bears’ picnic, and a historical fashion show.
The evening functions comprise a concert by vocalist Louis Baker, dinner with a Victorian magician, a 10-course Victorian banquet, and a ceilidh in the Scottish Hall.
The Network Waitaki Victorian Fete is the fitting finale on Sunday, augmented by recitals, displays, train trips, and tours of nearby historic sites.
Everyone is encouraged to get into the spirit of the celebrations by dressing in period clothing – anything from servants’ workwear to the full crinoline. A vast variety of costumes is available for hire at the Victorian Wardrobe in Harbour St.
There are also classes in making hats and embellishments for those keen to create their own attire.