Graham Brown, of Loburn, rides an 1816 Draisine. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Bustles and corsets were prominent yesterday as Oamaru
stepped back in time to welcome in its annual Victorian
• Victorian Heritage
The town's normally sedate Victorian precinct was awash with
flowing dresses, top hats, walking canes and waxed
moustaches, as visitors and locals alike embraced the
Dickensian costume theme of this year's celebrations.
Early morning shoppers in Oamaru's Thames St rubbed shoulders
with costume-wearing couples as the traditional cafe
promenade stroll launched a host of events, including four
hours of traditional Victorian parlour games at the Early
Settlers Hall, and a rollicking soap-box debate outside
Annie's Victorian Tearooms.
Prizes were also on offer to local businesses for the best
Victorian-themed window display, before the day's events
culminated in an evening ball.
Nelson residents Margaret McQueen and Stanley Abernathy were
two of many out-of-town visitors, and said they had made the
trip especially for the Grand Ball at the Scottish Hall.
Ms McQueen said the attraction of Victorian ball gowns and
military suits was too much to resist and made the trip from
Tourism Waitaki events development officer Jan Kennedy said
the celebrations, which continue today with a Grand Street
Parade and penny farthing bicycle races, had got off to a
"The Victorian Heritage committee must be congratulated for
putting together such an extensive programme of events for
the heritage celebrations.
"The Grand Ball, Crombie and Price Victorian Garden Party,
Heritage Rugby Match along with Sunday's Victorian Fete are
just some of the traditional highlights, with new events in
2012 themed around Charles Dickens."
Celebrations conclude on Sunday with the traditional
Victorian Fete, which was predicted to attract 2000 people
just on its own, Mrs Kennedy said.