The Winter Warm Up weekend in Oamaru’s Harbour St achieved everything organisers Carolyn Lewis and Annah Evington had hoped for.
The Victorian precinct came alive over the long weekend, as locals and visitors to the Waitaki town embraced the two-day event, which was organised in the absence of the annual Steampunk NZ Festival and Fire and Steam event, usually held over Queen’s Birthday weekend but cancelled due to Covid-19.
Held over Saturday and Sunday, the Winter Warm Up was designed to bring people back to Oamaru’s Victorian precinct, and offer something extra for visitors to the Waitaki town over the long weekend. It included workshops with local artists, live music, chalk-art workshops, a scavenger hunt and face painting.
Ms Evington said visitors to Oamaru were ‘‘delighted at finding music in the streets and so much to do’’ and a lot of locals used it as an opportunity to revisit the Harbour St area.
‘‘Most businesses have told us that they had the best weekend in months, kids loved it and we saw a lot of happy people wandering through our Victorian precinct,’’ she said.
‘‘It was a great way to fill the event gap over the long weekend and to brighten the area and most importantly — it was fun.’’
While there were no official steampunk events, many festival regulars still came to Oamaru for the long weekend, and wandered around town in costume.
It was perfect timing Craftwork Brewery opened its new premises in Harbour St on Friday, Ms Lewis said. Winter Warm Up events also worked in well with Scotts Brewing Co’s ‘‘Winter Fest’’.
Ms Lewis and Ms Evington thanked everyone involved in the weekend’s events.
‘‘All the businesses, performers, artists, volunteers and the fabulous local and visiting steampunks — they all lent colour and character to the events and helped make it all happen.’’
They were considering holding similar pop›up events in Harbour St in the future.
‘‘We want to find a way of going for funding to do it a couple of times a year,’’ Ms Lewis said.