Oamaru fires up for festive weekend

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Oamaru is set for a big weekend with 1000s coming to the town for Oamaru on Fire and the Steampunk and fringe festivals.

Oamaru on Fire and the Fringe Festival take place tonight, while the Steampunk festival continues into Saturday and Sunday.

It’s been five years since Steampunk began in Oamaru and, with this year’s Steampunk festival set to be a hit, it just keeps getting bigger, festival co-ordinator Helen Jansen said.

Ms Jansen said the fringe festival will give people a chance to experience dancers, pirates and authors before the big event on Saturday and Sunday.

After five years, Ms Jansen said she felt Steampunk is still getting started in the town but people were beginning to notice it.

“This year it really feels like the country has caught onto the event,”she said.

“I think there is a much more exhilarated energy about it.”

One of the great things about Steampunk is it can give shy people a chance to come out of their shell and develop an alter ego, the co-ordinator said.

This year they will still have the traditional fashion show, dinner and ball but will have other activities including teapot racing, Ms Jansen said..

Other activities include airship racing, writers’ workshops and steam train rides around the harbour.

Tourism Waitaki event development officer Jan Kennedy said Oamaru on Fire would be something special.

“It’ll be fantastic it’s more about light, dancing, kids activities, video mapping and other activities sure to catch peoples attention,” Mrs Kennedy said.

Oamaru on Fire is only on Friday Night.

“We are only on Friday night and will give them a good dose of Oamaru is all about.”

Mrs Kennedy is confident numbers will improve on last year.

“We know numbers will be good, with the weather set to be fine and people being able to experience some new things for Oamaru.”

Meanwhile, Steampunk special guest Te Radar, is looking forward to the festival.

“I love everything about Steampunk and know the festival will be awesome.”

Te Radar is in town to be MC at the Steampunk fashion show and will be at other events over the weekend.

“It’s the first time I will be involved with the festival and I’m really looking forward to getting amongst it, I love steam engines.”

By RUBY HARFIELD and BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

STEAMPUNK TIME: From left, Teapot racer Joel Clark, La Falconess Helen Jansen, Agent Darling Iain Clark, Leiutenant Blue Bladder Warren Beaton, Captain Festus McBoyle and Kim Beaton all dressed up ahead of the Steampunk festival starting tonight.