Victorian finery on show for visitors

A group enjoys high tea during the Harbour St Party in Oamaru’s Victorian precinct yesterday....
A group enjoys high tea during the Harbour St Party in Oamaru’s Victorian precinct yesterday. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Victoriana was on full show at the first Harbour St Party in Oamaru yesterday, much to the delight of locals and visitors.

The hastily thrown-together celebration was staged primarily to show people from around the country in Oamaru for the 64th New Zealand Motor Caravan Association National Rally the town’s heritage, with a little bit of fun thrown in.

The street was closed to vehicles for the day as a group dressed in steampunk and Victorian garb enjoyed a high tea.

Every so often the group belted out a few songs to celebrate and at one point, a man from what appeared to be a tour bus group joined in with a song of his own.

Several vintage vehicles were parked along the street and Sophia Leon de la Barra offered penny farthing rides for those brave enough to take on the challenge.

Other entertainment came in the form of buskers and for the thirsty, the sight of the Criterion Hotel being open for the first time in months was a welcome one.

Party organiser Frances McMillan was happy to see a large number of people strolling through the Victorian precinct.

"I’m so happy. It’s nice to see locals and visitors down here and a lot of people connecting to the farmers’ market and just enjoying the streetscape, and Victoriana, street cars and a little bit of dress up."

She wanted to stage the event again in the future, when large-scale events came to town.

"I would like to see it happen more often, particularly in the summer months, when there is the road closure to encourage people to come to Harbour St."

The party capped off a busy weekend in Oamaru.

In addition to the motorhome rally the Clubs New Zealand Darts Association South Island tournament was held at the Oamaru Club, which attracted close to 300 players.

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