27 October 2023

Wagga Marketplace unveil new playground with artists at its centre

| Jarryd Rowley
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Marketplace Playground

The new Wagga Wagga Marketplace Playground was unveiled on Friday. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

The Wagga Wagga Marketplace unveiled its brand-new playground, Windmill Park, to several community groups on Friday morning (27 October), with plenty of children eager to try out the mall’s new play equipment.

The name of the new play equipment was settled on following a community vote on a select number of names submitted by the children of Wagga.

The selection process then saw judges cut the submissions down to three names before going to a vote, which saw over 800 hundred people take part.

The name Windmill Park, submitted by Hope Gilmour, ultimately won by less than 100 votes.

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As the winner of the naming competition, Hope took home a $500 Marketplace voucher as well as a Casey’s Toys goodie bag and the naming rights to the playground.

Hope’s mother said her daughter was more excited to play on the play equipment than actually winning the competition.

“I was looking forward to seeing the playground for a while,” Hope said.

“I thought of the name pretty quickly. I knew it was going to have a windmill, so I called it Windmill Park. I’m glad a lot of people picked the name and I hope people will have a lot of fun playing on it.”

Hope said she is unsure what she will spend her prize money on yet but admits it will probably be on toys.

Wagga Wagga Marketplace’s Centre Manager Maria Sharman said she was blown away by the number of people participating in the voting process and hopes families will enjoy the new facility.

“We know a huge part of what makes the Wagga Wagga and surrounding regions such a great place to live is our beautiful, expansive outdoor environment and we are proud to bring the essence of this into the design and theming of our brand-new playground,” she said.

“The new playground, to be enjoyed by our local families, is a prime example of the centre’s commitment to continue improving customer experience and creating new opportunities to celebrate our local community.”

Two murals have also been added to the playground, the first by local artist Megan Cameron, paying tribute to the region’s rural roots and farming communities.

The second was created by Unique State Artspace and features contributions from several young artists, including students from Aspect Riverina.

Students Eli, Spencer and Archer helped contribute to the artwork on the playground.

“It’s so cool to see it in there,” Eli said.

“We all worked really hard for three days at the studio.”

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Spencer explained that students each painted bugs during their time at the studio.

“We painted mosquitos and butterflies and things like that. We got to see them when we played on the playground.”

Archer said he can’t wait to use the playground again soon.

“We only got a short go today, but next time I have to go shopping, I’m gonna ask to go to the playground again.”

A community opening will be held at the playground over the weekend for members of the public to try out the equipment for the first time.

Activities like face painting and entertainment by Zana Aerial Academy will be held throughout the weekend.

Wagga Wagga Marketplace is on Bayis Street.

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