Invercargill’s Grand Hotel is set to return to its former glory for one night only.
As part of the Inner City Heritage Week next month, the Grand will be dressed up to the nines for a 1920s themed ball on March 12.
Reliving its days where it was a popular haunt for drinking and dancing, an old-time dance including the Charleston and a Monte Carlo will be among the night’s festivities.
Heritage Week organiser Rebecca Amundsen said the ball would have an MC who would be calling out the dances and keeping a running commentary throughout the night.
“It’s going to be quite similar to what it was 50 years ago when you went to a dance,” she said.
“It is quite an old building and it’s got a lot of history.”
Built in 1913, The Grand isn’t the only one with heritage significance in Invercargill’s inner city.
Heritage celebrations in Invercargill started in 2012 and Amundsen said having such an event was important because it encouraged people to take notice of things that won’t always be here.
“Our heritage is important to who we are and certainly in the inner city we’re surrounded by heritage buildings,” she said.
During Heritage Week there will be several events including a Victorian-themed high tea on Esk St and open days in buildings classed as being of heritage significance, such as the WEA building and the Invercargill Club.
Walking tours of Tay and Dee Sts will also take place where a guide will give a run-down of all the heritage buildings on the street and local-interest films will be screened in the old Embassy Theatre in Dee St.
Amundsen said a heritage forum will be held with workshops and seminars, as well as discussions from people involved in a whole range of heritage activities.
Amundsen said the point of celebrating heritage in the city was to not only appreciate the city’s history but to encourage people to spend more time in the centre.
“In order to have a vibrant inner city we need to have activities and events happening in it,” she said.
“We still need to have something that compels people to come (into the CBD) and it isn’t always shopping.”