Victorian fete wraps up celebrations

Oamaru's Victorian precinct was a hive of activity at the Oamaru Victorian Fete on Sunday. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Oamaru's Victorian precinct was a hive of activity at the Oamaru Victorian Fete on Sunday. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Four days of Victorian heritage celebrations in Oamaru ended with a Victorian fete yesterday but not before the town had politely curtsied, bowed and charmed its way into the hearts of thousands of visitors.

An estimated 5000 people attended the final day of celebrations, which included musket-firing demonstrations, live music and a Victorian fashion parade.

Slideshow: Oamaru Victorian Fete 

Numbers were boosted by more than 150 people who arrived at the Victorian fete yesterday on the Taieri Gorge Railway train from Dunedin.

Large crowds also came to town to see the grand parade on Saturday, which included a 1911 traction engine driven by Waimate locals Bruce and Russell Powell.

Marshall Watt, of Te Aroha, said he had been left so impressed by the "colourful, vibrant and stirring" celebrations he hoped to move from the Waikato and settle permanently in the area.

"It has been marvellous; the locals have been so friendly. This is the first time I have been to a Victorian heritage celebration, and I look forward to many more in the future."

Victorian fete co-ordinator Faye Ormandy said the fete usually attracted 4000 to 5000 people, but this year the crowds had been "exceptional".

"I'm absolutely delighted with the turnout." Mrs Ormandy said crowd numbers had been boosted by fine weather and Christchurch show week taking place on the same weekend.

"We have had a lot of Christchurch visitors taking advantage of a long weekend, but we have had a lot of visitors from all over New Zealand."

-andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz