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Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations

The gorgeous gowns, steam engines and penny farthings will be out on again this November for the annual Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations.

Come down the rabbit hole of Victorian Literature this year. Explore the societal reflections of Charles Dickens and the romance of the Brontè sisters; be transported to another world with the fantasy writing of Bram Stoker and Lewis Carroll or delve into the first works of science fiction discovering Mary Shelley and H.G.Wells.

The challenges of the pandemic have meant that there has been a paring back of the programme compared to last year; however the planned programme is full of entertainment for locals and visitors alike.

Dress as your favourite character or author from Victorian Literature (1837 – 1901) and come along to the Oamaru Public Library to have your photo taken carrying a copy of the book that your character is taken from, on Friday between 10am-12pm. We also are requesting that schools hold Victorian Literature days prior to the celebrations and take entry photographs of participating students. The judges will announce the winning costume at the Great Photo Opportunity, after the Grand Parade.

Chris Meech will be exploring the works of local writer William Henry Sherwood Roberts at the Ōamaru Public Library. Among other works, Roberts penned ‘The history of Oamaru and North Otago, New Zealand, from 1853 to the end of 1889’, which gives a unique insight into colonial North Otago.

Fiona Farrell will be speaking about Victorian literature, poetry and plays at the Ōamaru Public Library. Fiona is Ōamaru born and bred, and one of New Zealand best known and acclaimed poets, fiction writers and playwrights. Fiona has a unique perspective on the history of the Ōamaru Public Library, having worked during her high school year in the Athenaeum.

Many more events are running throughout the week, including the annual Crombie and Price Garden Party, Victorian Ball and SouthRoads Grand Parade. Full details on all of the events and purchasing tickets is available online at www.vhc.co.nz.

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