Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations will go off with a bang

Organisers of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations are bringing out the big guns to ensure the annual celebration of the town's past does not get too ''soft and fluffy''.

Last year the event included a revamped opening, and Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations Committee chairman Peter Amyes said this year's event would continue to showcase the town's rural roots but would also include more military displays.

Mr Amyes said the 2013 event, which would run from November 14 to 17, would celebrate the theme of Victorian explorers and adventurers.

He said the inclusion of musket-firing demonstrations, which had been introduced last year to make sure the event did not get too ''soft and fluffy'', would be topped this year by cannon-firing.

''It is essential for us to maintain the uniqueness and vitality of the event - we can't just have the same old, same old.

''We need to make it inclusive not exclusive and we wanted to spread it out over the community.''

Hot-air balloons would also be part of this year's event, if sponsorship could be found to cover the $2000 cost of bringing them to Oamaru, he said.

Mr Amyes added that a schools education programme and a geocaching treasure hunt were also planned.

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

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