Oamaru all ready for train visitors

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The bunting is going up, the red carpet rolled out and everything will be looking sparkling in readiness for Sunday’s Taieri Gorge Railway trip to Oamaru, according to Faye Ormandy of the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust.

About 400 people from Dunedin will be arriving at the Oamaru Railway Station at 11am on Sunday on the TGR Father’s Day excursion and will spend the best part of the day looking around Oamaru. The train leaves on its return journey at 2.30pm.

Mrs Ormandy said she was thrilled so many people were coming to Oamaru and that it was a good way to start the tourism season. Local people should come on down and enjoy the day, she said.

Visitors are to be met at the railway station by Waitaki District Council councillor Melanie Tavendale, who is standing in for Mayor Gary Kircher, and the trust is encouraging people to dress up in Victorian costume to meet the train and mingle with visitors.

The Victorian Wardrobe, in the Historic Precinct, is going to be open today from 10am-2pm and on Sunday morning from 10am for people to hire costumes.

Shuttle buses will be running from the railway station to the precinct, where stall holders at the Oamaru Farmers Market intend on extending their hours to cater for visitors.

Mrs Ormandy said there would be buskers, music and people in costume down at the precinct, and plenty for children to do, including checking out Steampunk Headquarters and the Friendly Bay playground.

Two significant spot prizes for dinner at Portside Restaurant and Bar will be available to win. To be in the running, people need to be dressed up in Victorian costume or participate in the mini classic car show by having their vehicle on display at the precinct.

Simon Berry, president of the North Otago branch of the Otago Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber wholeheartedly supported events like this and that shops which would usually be open on a Sunday would be open for trading.

Tourism Waitaki were placing representatives on the train at Palmerston to hand out brochures and tell visitors what would be available in Oamaru.

By LINDA MCCARTHY

PHOTO: LINDA MCCARTHY

LADIES IN WAITING: The Victorian Wardrobe in the Historic Precinct is going to be open today from 10-2pm and Sunday morning from 10am for people to hire costumes for Sunday.  Pictured (from left) is Jan Thomas (assistant), Dawn Sutherland (manager) and customer, Julia Gearhart.