The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Steampunk countdown

- BY DYLAN DE JONG

rganisers behind the Wimmera’s premiere steampunk festival are confident Victoria’s fifth lockdown late last month will only increase people’s interest in attending events.

The Wimmera’s First Steampunk Street Party on September 4 will be a chance for people to dress up in pseudo-victorian-era clothing and experience art, music and culture all in one place.

The festival, the brainchild Dimboola Imaginariu­m owner Chan Uoy and other creatives in the town, is set to transform Dimboola’s main street into a science-fiction wonderland.

Mr Uoy said despite planning pressures due to the pandemic and only four weeks to prepare, he was confident the lockdown period would add to people’s excitement to attend.

“I think the lockdown will make the event more poignant and relevant,” he said.

“It will reinforce how important events are and people will probably enjoy it even more.

“When the lockdown happened, I was glad it happened early so it could flush out the cases before the event.”

The street party will coincide with a series of events in the town, including a book launch, night market, park opening and costume exhibition.

Another key attraction is a ‘Towns of the Wimmera Expo’, where visitors can sample what the region has to offer.

Business owners in towns including Rupanyup, Donald, Warracknab­eal, Nhill, Jeparit, Rainbow, Edenhope and Murtoa have shown interest in the market.

Mr Uoy said this was part of a bigger plan to promote the Wimmera-mallee communitie­s and boost their reputation in Victoria’s competitiv­e tourism landscape.

“Murtoa is really excited and will be hosting a French-style marquee,” he said.

“We’ve also got Kaniva Puppet Shop and other businesses supporting the event.

“The Nhill Heritage Silo Project group will try to raise money for its project to restore the town’s unique silo. The festival will be a great opportunit­y to raise the profile and awareness of the project.

“The group will join forces with Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre for a photograph­ic exhibition of the silo and aviation museum.

“Natimuk, Rupanyup and Warracknab­eal are also keen to join the expo.”

Nhill-dimboola Brass Band, jazz band Key Change, Horsham rock band Headrush and Melbourne bands Danny Walsh Banned and Blackbirds are among musical performers confirmed for the day.

Author Adam Mcnichol will launch his book The Wimmera: A Journey Through Western Victoria and Dimboola Arts Incorporat­ed will unveil a newly establishe­d community park at the site of the former Dimboola Hotel.

Wotjobaluk and Ngarrindje­ri woman Tracey Rigney will premiere her short-film documentar­y about the former pub. She also wrote the foreword for The Wimmera book.

Mr Uoy said the Dimboola community was keen to run the street party as an annual event.

“If this is successful, then we’ve got a whole year to plan for next year,” he said.

“I really hope people embrace it and it becomes an annual event.”

• Bands join festival line-up, page 17.

 ?? PAUL CARRACHER. ?? Wimmera costume designer Hilary Willowsmit­h at Dimboola Imaginariu­m prepares for The Wimmera’s First Steampunk Street Party on September 4. Picture:
PAUL CARRACHER. Wimmera costume designer Hilary Willowsmit­h at Dimboola Imaginariu­m prepares for The Wimmera’s First Steampunk Street Party on September 4. Picture:

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