The community rescued Fire and Steam – and now the community gets to enjoy it.
Organisers are confident the revived celebrations in Harbour St next Friday will go off with a bang.
The popular event plunged into darkness when Tourism Waitaki decided to withdraw its support, but steampunk enthusiast Helen Jansen and a group of passionate volunteers rallied around to save it.
“It’s a big part of the steampunk festival weekend,” Ms Jansen said.
“I couldn’t have nothing happen in that space.”
Word of the rescue plan quickly spread around town and before she knew it, Ms Jansen had a community backing her.
She wanted to thank everyone who helped make Fire and Steam possible.
“It’s fantastic. Every aspect of the event has been covered by someone in the community.”
This year’s celebration would have a similar format to previous years.
“In four weeks, you can’t be all that creative – you can just pull together what you can,” she said.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher was supportive of the effort the community had put into the event.
‘‘It was very clear from early on that not having it was going to impact the district financially,’’ he said.
The council has pledged $10,000 to support the celebrations.
Mr Kircher also wanted to acknowledge the community for the work that had been put into organising Fire and Steam.
‘‘I think they’ve done a really good job.’’
Auckland-based entertainer Jackie Clarke will headline the event, and local bands will feature.
A new activity at the night will be an interactive workshop hosted by fire throwers.
Provided the event got the same level of support, Ms Jansen was confident it would maintain its place in the calendar.
‘‘I think we’ll have this sorted for next year,’’ she said.