Partnership boosts heritage celebrations

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The involvement of Tourism Waitaki in promoting the Victorian Heritage Celebrations has helped boost numbers, Oamaru Victorian Heritage Committee chairman Kevin Malcolm says.

The heritage committee teamed up with Tourism Waitaki in May for this year’s heritage celebrations which included dozens of events and activities coming under the theme of transportation.

The relationship between the two entities was developed in order for the celebrations to run more smoothly with Tourism Waitaki taking over the promotional and administration side of the celebrations.

Mr Malcolm said there had been a huge boost in numbers for the smaller events which was due to Tourism Waitaki taking over promoting the event.

More and more people were also participating in many of the activities with people coming from all over New Zealand and even Australia.

“There are more people wherever you’re going talking about the event,” he said.

“If Tourism Waitaki continue to promote it, I think that’s going to be a really great recipe.”

Several of the events had double the amount of people they anticipated – they expected the garden tour to have 40-50 people and there were more than 100, Mr Malcolm said.

He also found the theme of transportation to be really successful with all the “magic” steam machinery and everything “rattling and rolling”.

“I think the theme transportation struck a really great chord with people.”

Despite the hot air balloons having limited flights because of high winds, the rest of the celebrations went without a hitch, he said.

“The weather was just brilliant.”

Some of the highlights for Mr Malcolm were the “stunning” Grand Street parade, the steam machines and the “awesome” First Class Passengers Ball.

“There just seemed to be lots of smiles around.”

The theme for next year’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations is Alice in Wonderland.

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

VICTORIANA ON SHOW: Participants push their bicycles along the road during the Grand Street Parade on Saturday as part of this year’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations.