Main street celebrations
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, New South Wales, employees worked right up to the 12 noon deadline to ensure the newly upgraded Sheridan Street would be ready for the official opening.
Recognition of the dedication of Council’s employees was reflected in all parties’ speeches. The pride locals have in the outcome of the $5 million project was evident and palpable.
Councillor McAllister said, “It’s been a long time in the making, and the perseverance of locals and the communities support through a special rate variation has seen this project deliver to Gundagai a main street we can all be proud of.”
A street parade featuring employees who worked on the project, vintage cars, and contractors’ trucks made their way down Sheridan Street, led by five Light Horse Brigade members and a sole bagpiper.
The corner of Sheridan and Byron Streets was crowded where the official speeches and the Welcome to Country was delivered along with the ancient Indigenous custom of a smoking ceremony to acknowledge ancestors and pay respect to the land, the ceremony is believed to cleanse properties and ward off bad spirits.
The Gundagai Choir had the crowd clapping and tapping their feet, with their performances and a brilliant performance on the digeridoo by local youngster Kobi Russell.
Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack was upstaged at the ribbon cutting ceremony by Light Horseman Ron Dowell who stole the honour with a swish of his sword. The action capped off the formalities and the party began with street buskers, retailers, specials, children’s entertainment and bands.