Jazzing up the Old Town: Old Cromwell Heritage Precinct Fireworks Night
When viewed for the first time, the Old Cromwell Heritage Precinct looks more like a Country and Western set from Universal Studios. You could almost imagine the Lone Ranger riding in to save the day and sweeping a damsel off her feet. With such an atmospheric backdrop, the idea of a night market, and jazzed up fireworks display to welcome people to the “Highlands 101” weekend on Friday, November 13th 2015 seems like a no-brainer.
With the creation of the Clyde dam in 1990, Cromwell’s original main street disappeared under the depths of Lake Dunstan. However, local craftspeople banded together and carefully relocated and rebuilt selected buildings and conserved others that still stand on their original sites. Many of these buildings date back to the 1860’s and halcyon days of the Otago gold rush.
In the Lower Precinct, you can experience what it would be like to visit a gold mining metropolis with its very own butchers, bakery, grocers, and boarding houses. Each building has its own history and some even tell the story of how businesses evolved to survive through the decades. Built in 1880, Wisharts Blacksmith and Motor Garage tells the story of how a trained blacksmith and farrier became a car mechanic. You can see where Robert Wishart had his original forge and then housed the town’s first acetone welding plant.
In the Upper Precinct, you can explore a Cobb & Co Storeroom complete with Ned the horse and historic riding tack, and see lovingly restored examples of mud-brick and schist residential buildings, before wandering through the McNulty heritage orchard. To find out more about the buildings and their historic usage go to www.cromwellheritageprecinct.co.nz.
In more modern times, instead of purchasing a copy of the Argus (the original local newspaper) or buying raw meat, on a normal trading day, the Main Street is now home to art galleries and specialist gift shops, while various artisans and jewelers have their workshops in the Upper Precinct. You can even decide to stop for lunch or grab a quick coffee at either Armando’s Italian Café or the Grain and Seed Café.
For something a little different, from 6 pm on the 13th November 2015, not only will the shops and galleries be open, the Historic Precinct will come alive with a night market and live music. What better way to spend a Friday evening than sampling local fare, sipping fine wine and listening to local Jazz musician Les Richardson and his band? The extra special grand finale will be a professional fireworks display sponsored by the Cromwell Town and Country Club and The Trusts Community Foundation.
If you know someone who is visiting Cromwell for the Highlands 101 weekend or simply want to see something a little unique happening in the Old Cromwell Heritage Precinct, be sure to grab your family, rug up warm and head on down to Melmore Terrace for an evening that will end with a bang. For more information go to Cromwell Fireworks Facebook Event page.