BOOMERANG Park was lit up by a sea of lanterns over the weekend, with the coming together of community to put together the first ‘Illuminate Boomerang Park’ Festival.
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Illuminate Boomerang Park was organised as a free, family-friendly event for all Port Stephens residents and visitors to attend.
The Festival featured a parade of lanterns created by residents over a series of months at public craft classes, skateboarding under lights, live music, circus performers, an exhibition of the park’s history, a glow room and an exciting fireworks finale.
The dedicated volunteers of the Men’s Shed had timber lanterns available for purchase, with all proceeds going to charity.
Food trucks and vans selling ice creams, coffees and fairy floss were on site for those wishing to purchase, and the hill was covered in families on rugs and camping chairs enjoying a picnic dinner together.
Councillor Paul LeMottee officially opened the event, praising the community groups and residents for banding together to pull off such a wonderful event.
Steve Brereton performed the smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, moving up to the stage arena with the lantern parade, greeting locals, and welcoming them to celebrate on the land of the Worimi people.
Penny Amberg, Council’s Integrated Strategic Planning Manager, said this was truly a community event, with more than 30 community groups involved.
“Boomerang Park has always been a special place for our community – Illuminate Boomerang Park gave us an opportunity to reconnect with the park and shine the light on all the improvements that have been made over the past two years,” Ms Amberg said.
“Whether it’s the skate park, the children’s playground, the Men’s Shed, the croquet court, or the fitness equipment, there really is something for everyone to enjoy now at Boomerang Park.”
It was lovely to see so many families out for the evening with chairs and rugs on the hill, enjoying the free activities and the first fireworks in Raymond Terrace for two decades.
West Ward Councillor, Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area, “It was amazing to see so many locals turn out to celebrate the history and future of Boomerang Park.”
“I’ll be continuing to push Council to invest even more into the park, as it is an historically underutilised asset and we need to be making better use of it.”
“I will be working hard to make sure this event comes back even bigger and better next year and into the future,” Cr Arnott said.
By Rachael VAUGHAN