Balclutha's new Centennial Park grand opening on Saturday was a spectacular success, organisers said.
They estimated about 400 people from around the district came to the new playground and dog training park from 10am in hot weather to try out the new facilities and enjoy a community barbecue hosted by sponsors and supporters, with Radio Hokonui’s Luke Howden as MC.
Families chatted and children swarmed on the colourful, imaginative playground, but perhaps the most inspiring moment was the mass warm-up before the annual Night and Day Rainbow run.
There were cheers as an impressive crowd of all ages joined fitness instructors from Cross Recreation Centre to stretch and limber up before embarking on a five-kilometre course marked by colour stations where volunteers doused the white-clad runners and walkers in vivid pigment powders as they passed.
"It’s awesome to have so much interest for a fitness event and to see the activity generated by the play equipment. We’re very happy with what’s been achieved here today and very grateful for our sponsors helping us do it," he said.
Helping out at the sponsors barbecue were Clutha Mayor Brian Cadogan and co-organiser Jared McPhee, who were keen to point out that the opening was celebrating completion of the just the first stage of developments at the new recreation area between Balclutha’s Centennial swimming pools and historic Naish park.
"I take my hat off to the team that has done so much work for this," Mr Cadogan said.
By: Nick Brook