Hundreds of residents flocked to Centennial Park on Monday, Aug. 6, for music, bouncy castles, a barbecue, and most importantly, the water park.
The grand opening event was completely free.
Jamie Hughes-Rywaczuk, who initiated the water park project six years ago, said it felt amazing to finally see her vision come to fruition.
“Today, it doesn’t feel like it took so long.”
The new splash section of the playground was “jam-packed” with kids all day, said Hughes-Rywaczuk. Volunteers cooked 700 hotdogs and gave out cakes and cupcakes to around 350 people.
“It’s a beautiful little park. All we’ve heard all day are kids screaming and laughing and smiling,” she said.
Despite having hit quite a few roadblocks on the journey, she concluded that “you can’t quit.”
Natasha Seabloom, who grew up in 100 Mile House, said the best thing about the new water park is that it doesn’t cost anything for families to use.
“It’s something that everybody in 100 Mile can do … It’ll bring more families in, get more use of this place,” she said. “I think it’s fantastic.”
Amber Donnelly, who has lived right in town for seven years now, called the park’s new water feature “wonderful.”
“It’s very, very exciting stuff for the neighbourhood kids and all the surrounding areas, too,” she said.
Her sons, Hayden and Jackson, were among the crowd of kids squealing with laughter as water hit them from just about every direction.
Another resident, Zach Smith, watched as his six-year-old daughter, Ava, cooled off with her friends.
Smith said the water park is “great” and that it’s “another amenity to bring people and professionals to the community.”
Tristan Feissli, another parent, agreed with Smith’s sentiments.
“If signs are put and it’s advertised the right way, I’m pretty sure that lots of people who are travelling through 100 Mile would stop, so it could bring more tourists and more people in town.”
Feissli called the water park “just perfect” and said the kids were “having just a blast.”
Local music teacher, Jasmine Kreschuk, was among hoards of parents relaxing in the grass.
“I think it’s so great to see so many kids enjoying (the park) right now,” she said, adding that she hopes it will draw more kids to the park.
Kreschuk said finding the water park is always her kids’ first priority when going to a new community. “Now they can do it at home,” she said.
All three of her kids were taking advantage of the park’s new feature.
Local nurse, Margaret Bryant, said she appreciated the safety of the water park.
Her older kids could always play in the creek, but now little kids have somewhere they can “cool down and play in the water without, you know, worrying about drowning,” she said.
“Parents can relax a little bit.”