All ages congregate at Castlegar's Millennium Park for opening of cooling ponds

Rory Nagai is entranced by the foot fountain at the Castlegar Splash opening of the Millennium Ponds.

Rory Nagai is entranced by the foot fountain at the Castlegar Splash opening of the Millennium Ponds.

The most optimistic predictions imaginable turned out to be spot-on for the grand opening of Castlegar’s highly touted Millennium Ponds.

The three geo-engineered, river-fed ponds did exactly what they were created for, namely a fun and refreshing focal point for the community for literally every age and walk of life.

On a day that was just another in a long series of scorchers, how could it miss? The three pools were extremely well-enjoyed and, for good measure, the Castlegar Fire department was on hand at the soccer field treating crowds to the cooling qualities of the firehose in 1,000 gallon servings.

This, all of a sudden, was another of the kind of winning events the City of Castlegar is becoming known for.

One can only wonder what lies ahead with even more improvements and additions planned for the beautiful park.

“It’s so nice to have you here,” Mayor Chernoff told a large crowd from a stage complete with an E-Norm-ous p.a. system.

“I’m as excited as everyone else with what’s taken place, to get where we are today.”

Mayor Chernoff shared the stage with his council members, civic representatives from Fruitvale, Rossland and Trail (Mayors Patricia Cecchini and Greg Granstrom, and councillor Gord DeRosa, respectively), as well as provincial Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick, B.C. Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko and Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy.

The official comments were kept brief because everyone knew the purpose of the occasion. A quick ribbon cutting paved the way for a sod-turning photo op relating to the Rotary concession (significantly funded by Zellstoff Celgar) which is one of the next major enhancements to the park.

A bike park is also on the drawing board.

From then on it was a situation involving everyone from babies to seniors splashing, laughing, lounging and enjoying the fare from the customarily great line-up of food vendors.

The Millennium Ponds have a future all but guaranteed to be busy and fun every summer. Just add hot weather and stir well.