1000s expected at celebrations

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The Victorian Heritage Celebrations are in overdrive mode with 1000s of people set to converge on the town in the next couple of days.

Yesterday the schedule picked up a little more with events such as the tour of Scott’s Brewing Co, The Down to the Decades walk, Forty Flying Fingers and The North Otago Women’s Club Choir, a movie at Limelight and Grand Tour of the Countryside and Picnic Tea.

One of the more spectacular viewings of the whole celebrations the Hot Air Ballooning was unable to go ahead due to winds. Victorian Heritage Committee chairman Kevin Malcolm said they hoped to get them in the air before the celebrations are over.

“Hopefully the man up above can play his part and give us some nice calm weather so we can get the Hot Air Balloons off the ground and show everybody, how amazing they are.”

One disappointment is the fact there will be no train coming up from Dunedin.

“It’s a bit disappointing to be honest that there won’t ber a train coming, but we need to work with Dunedin and make sure thast when Cruise Ships arrive in the future and the festival is on, that this is the mainm attraction for them, and the profits made can be distributed evenly.”

Mr Malcolm said the exciting events start today.

“Today is a big day, we have the mayor rowing across to Portside for a big hearty breakfast, then we are back to the steps of council at 10am for the official opening.”

Plenty of events will be on over the weekend such as, First Class Ball Practice, Elevenses with Mrs B, behind the Scenes Tour, Lines from the Nile, The Big Photo, Victorian Travellers Costume Awards, Crombie and Price Victorian Garden Party, Oamaru Gardens Picnic Competition, Croquet in the Gardens, Safari Supper, First Class Passengers Ball, Vintage Car Club Swapmeet, Grand Street Parade, Oamaru Bicycle Polo Tournament, The 20th Heritage Bicycle Championships, Houses with History Tour, The Dansant at the Masonic, An Evening with Uncle George, Wheel-tappers and Shunters Shindig, The Victorian Fete, Headstones and Stories, while there are other events happening each day.

While the First Class Passengers Ball is the formal event, the Wheel-tappers and Shunters Shindig is something Mr Malcolm feels will be a lot fun.

“It’ll be great fun, people can come dressed up in anything really, I’m looking forward to getting into the spirit of the festival.”

Victorian Fete organiser Faye Ormandy said they were looking forward to Sunday’s fete which draws large numbers of people to Oamaru..

‘The weather for Sunday is looking promising so that’s good, hopefully we have a similar amount of people compared to last year.”

There were about 4000 people who took part in the fete last year and Mrs Ormandy was hoping for a similar number this year.

Oamaru Steam and Rail general manager Harry Andrew said the Quo Vadis Road Locomotive will be something worth viewing.

“I think it might be coming out today, and I believe it’s the major attraction of the Working Vintage Machinery display.”

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

LOCOMOTIVE POWER: Faye Ormandy and Sara Elliott stand in front of the Quo Vadis, a Road Locomotive, which is stored in Christchurch which will be part of the Working Vintage Machinery display on Sunday. The Traction Engine was brought to Oamaru by Alan Familton. Two 1920 steam trucks will also be on display.