SHARE
Pop-up celebration . . . Showcasing some of the artwork which will be on display at next weekend's Winter Warm Up in Harbour St are organisers (from left) Annah Evington, Jacob Evington and Carolyn Lewis. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

A little magic is being brought back to Harbour St.

With many of Oamaru’s popular annual events cancelled as a result of Covid-19, Annah Evington and Carolyn Lewis have joined forces to do something about it.

Together, they have organised the Winter Warm Up in Harbour St at Queen’s Birthday weekend, which will be filled with pop-up workshops, musical performances, displays and activities.

Winter Warm Up was not associated with other Oamaru events, and was designed to give locals and visitors something to do during the long weekend, the organisers said. The Steampunk NZ Festival, usually held at Queen’s Birthday weekend, has been cancelled this year.

‘‘We just wanted to give this area a little bit of a boost,’’ Ms Lewis said.

The Winter Warm Up will be held on June 4 and 5, and include workshops with local artists at the Grainstore Gallery, as well as a scavenger hunt, musicians performing along the street, chalk art workshops, drumming groups, and face painting. There will also be penny-farthing riders — and people are invited to dress-up.

The Penguin Entertainers Club will open on the Saturday night, with local band The Merchants playing. Scotts Brewing Co is also hosting a winter festival, with buskers on Saturday, and music on Saturday night and daytime Sunday. Bigger Picture Oamaru encouraged people to take video footage throughout the weekend to be used at a film workshop later on.

The weekend’s events were free, but people were encouraged to give a donation to artists and musicians, Ms Lewis said.

More details for individual pop-up events will be posted on social media over the next week.

‘‘We want people to be coming down here and wandering around enjoying themselves.’’

Ms Evington said it was a chance to bring people back to Harbour St.

‘‘It was just time,’’ Ms Evington said.

‘‘We’ve all been so quiet, behind closed doors for a while, and just to get back out there and celebrate.’’

There had been fantastic support for the event and the pair were still ‘‘piecing it together’’.

‘‘Bring the family, bring the kids — there will be music, there will be dancing in the streets, everything’s going on.’’

Organising team member Jacob Evington said the pop-up event was not replacing regular events. It was a one-off designed to bring everyone together for a vibrant weekend.

‘‘It’s bringing the creative community together and the wider community as well,’’ Mr Evington said.

Tourism Waitaki general manager Margaret Munro said it had been difficult to organise events over the past two years, and she applauded the Winter Warm Up initiative.

‘‘Pop-up events are a great gap filler until the event sector stabilises — well done to those passionate businesses who are participating and making the most of this opportunity,’’ Mrs Munro said.

Long weekends were chosen for short vacations, and Waitaki was lucky to have more than 600,000 people living within a four-hour drive of the district, she said.

‘‘Off the back of Easter and the school holidays when we had high visitation, I’m hoping we’ll see good numbers over Queen’s Birthday weekend and Matariki.’’

Winter Warm Up events will be held on June 4 and 5, from 11am to 3pm. People are encouraged to bring cash.