City to come alive in summer

VIBRANT CITY: City of Mount Gambier elected members at the Cave Garden/Thugi which will be activated on weekends alongside Watson Terrace as a trial until the end of January 2024. Picture: Supplied

Sophie Conlon

What started as an idea in a City of Mount Gambier council meeting a few months ago is now coming to life in the centre of the city.

In August, councillor Max Bruins put the idea forward to close Watson Terrace to help facilitate events in Mount Gambier/ Berrin’s CBD in hopes of bringing the community together.

Now, the Summer on Watson activation plan is in full swing, with the Blue Lake Fun Run kicking off the activation on November 26.

Mayor Lynette Martin said a vibrant CBD was the heartbeat and economic barometer of a city.

“We want to encourage collaboration and partnerships and the CBD activation will bring together existing and supported events and activities over a 10 week period, including markets, after work drinks, live music, food and wine and yoga in the park,” she said.

The 10 weeks will feature regular events like markets, as well as water pistol painting, a table tennis tournament and yoga.

The Australia Day Breakfast and Citizen of the Year Awards on January 26 will be the closing event of the series.

Ms Martin hoped the activation would generate energy would be a place for people to gather.

“We want people to move around and encourage street life including indoor/outdoor dining and lively civic spaces,” she said.

As part of the activation council has erected a marquee and stage, will provide power, and has furniture that can be used for events.

With his idea coming to life Cr Bruins said he was “bloody excited”.

At the same time council’s general manager city infrastructure Barbara Cernovskis said they would do their best to make New Years Eve an event at Cave Gardens/ Thugi.

“It looks like at this stage it may be a little too late for the council to be able to try and track some fireworks,” she said.

“However, there is work being undertaken to see how we can activate the space with a New Year’s celebration in the CBD.”

Watson Terrace will remain open during weekdays and will be closed during activated weekends.

Events taking place during the program can be found on council’s website, with January being the most jam packed month at this stage.