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Children (from left) Jamie Benfield, Riley Allison and Hunter Benfield are found among the trenches during the 2016 Anzac in Action activities. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

Trenches, pyrotechnics and World War 1-era crafts are among the activities planned for the 2018 Anzac in Action event this weekend.

The weekend of commemorative activities will be held at the Rangitata Aerodrome, near Geraldine, on Saturday and Sunday, organiser Janene Adams said.

The Go Geraldine co-ordinator had been involved since the first event in 2014 and said this year’s event would be similar to the two previous commemorations, but would focus more on the end of the war instead of the start.

HQ 44 South were creating replica trenches people could walk through – minus the mud.

“Kids especially love exploring them,” she said.

There will be twice-daily replica battles between Allied forces and Turkish troops, performed by HQ 44 members, complete with pyrotechnics.

“[They are] very realistic explosions.”

The performers will also have two skits – Land Girls and The Great Escape – to entertain those attending the two-day event.

The Oamaru Historic Society will be on hand to make damper and scones on a fire, she said.

The Geraldine Giant Pumpkin competition had also joined the schedule, and while it could seem like an odd addition to the programme, it tied in with the WW1 era requirements of growing your own produce, Mrs Adams said.

“People have quietly growing giant pumpkins.”

Children would also be able to take part in the pumpkin decoration competition.

There will be free rides in vintage vehicles and craft stalls in the style of the early 1900s.

Mrs Adams encouraged families to come along to either or both of the days.

“Bring a picnic .. this is about families coming together.”

In addition to the Anzac in Action activities, two separately-organised evening activities will provide even more entertainment, she said.

A Rangitata Island Victory Ball will be held on Saturday night, where people were welcome to either dress up in formal ball attire or early 1900s period dress, and a Sunday evening concert at the Geraldine Primary School hall will provide a more reflective space.

The “Reflections Past and Present” concert will include poems, play readings and music and had been organised by the Geraldine Play Reading Group and the Geraldine Community Choir.

“[It is for] those looking to experience that Anzac spirit.”

The 2018 Anzac in Action will be held on Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 4pm both days. The Reflections Past and Present concert will be held on Sunday, doors 7pm, starting 7.30pm. For more information or tickets to the Victory Ball visit, search “Rangitata Island Victory Ball” on Facebook.