All trails lead to Ranfurly

20:29, Feb 18 2014

The quiet town of Ranfurly in the Maniototo is about to get a lot busier.

On Saturday, the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust Cavalcade will arrive in the town, bringing with it more than 500 walkers, riders and wagoners who have been trekking over nine trails during the week.

The cavalcade will join the Rural Art Deco Celebrations, including the grand parade, and later a dinner and hoedown.

Cavalcade co-ordinator Terry Davis said trails started from locations such as Waikaia, Beaumont, Hampden and the Kilmog. Most riding trails took seven days to reach Ranfurly and walking trails about four days.

"Cavalcaders will be roughing it in woolsheds for the week and get the odd wash where they can in creeks and dams."

Most trails were catered for by local community groups which raised money by providing all the meals for the week, he said.


Rural Art Deco Festival spokesman Martin McPherson said the festival, which acknowledged the art deco heritage of the Maniototo, drew bigger crowds each year.

"It is an opportunity for locals and visitors to celebrate the region's unique architectural style and history. The festival has as strong following amongst lovers of art deco, with visitors coming from as far afield as Australia."

A Deco Dinner will be held on Friday night, and the grand parade begins at noon on Saturday, with about 100 walkers in period costume, 360 riders and about 40 wagons expected to take part.

A street party entertaining the crowds on Saturday night would feature live music, street entertainment, fashion parades, vintage cars, farm machinery, and market stalls, he said.

Headline act Southern Dixie, a jazz quartet that played popular tunes of the era with a jazz and "Dixie feel", would be joined by Foxy Tones and Dunedin-based Planz on the main stage, playing everything from popular wartime classics to Motown hits of the 70s, Mr McPherson said.

The Southland Times