The Light Garden in Centennial Park – the key event to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Centennial Park – surpassed our optimistic expectations, and was enjoyed by around 29,000 people.

Let’s take a quick look back at 10 magic evenings!

 

A tough start…

What a start! A 45 degree day, followed by gale force winds at night! Despite the ‘weather gods’ throwing down a challenge, 1,200 people came to see the start of The Light Garden.

 

Despite the 'weather gods' throwing down a challenge, around 1,200 people still came to see the start of The Light Garden. Opening the event was Sean Ryan and the Sunset Ceremonial Group with an acknowledgement to Country.

Opening the event was Sean Ryan and the Sunset Ceremonial Group with an Acknowledgement to Country.

 

When the lights went out on the first night, a comment was overheard from a young boy to his father: “Does this mean I have to go to bed now?”. There was such disappointment in his voice, but this was a good sign for us!

 

Throughout the 10 days, those 'weather gods' continued to threaten, but big crowds continued to turn out. The relaxed vibe of the event made it memorable for many.

Throughout the 10 days, those ‘weather gods’ continued to threaten, but big crowds continued to turn out. The event was  a hit with families, groups of friends and people from seemingly all across Sydney.

 

One overheard comment from a five (?) year old to his parents: “Centennial Park rocks!”.

We think so, too!

 

Sunday - The Light Garden

Purple was definitely the theme colour in the Boulevard of Light (aka Paperbark Grove).

 

And we spread the word online…

A couple of days in we released our promotional video – more than 1,000 views in the first 24 hour seemed to indicate you loved watching it as much as we loved making it!

If you missed it, or want to watch it again…

 

 

The Light Garden itself was inspired by the formal gardens of Centennial Park, almost taking us back 80 years to a time when thousands of people would come to look at the Park’s floral displays.

 

Positioned on Cannon Triangle, the Light Garden had the perfect backdrop of the We Won Statue behind, then looking out to a big sky!

Positioned on Cannon Triangle, the Light Garden had the perfect backdrop of the We Won Statue behind, then looking out to a big sky!

 

The Wish Tree potentially became surprise hit if the event.

 

By Wednesday evening there were over 2,000 wishes attached.

By Wednesday evening there were over 2,000 wishes attached.

 

And who could forget the night we decided to herd cats…err…dogs for a ‘dog group photo’.

The aim was to get 125 dogs in one photo. How did we do?

 

Can you believe we fell just two dogs agonisingly short! 123 dogs made it into frame!

Can you believe we fell just two dogs agonisingly short! 123 dogs made it into frame!

 

We released our new Centennial Parklands iPhone app on the Friday, and together with our Facebook, Twitter, blog, Youtube, Flickr channels we found visitors were sharing photos, sharing experiences…sharing the fun!

We even had people from Ireland and the US tweeting us to be part of the occasion.

 

Delicate elements of The Light Garden

More than just lights – it was the delicate elements of The Light Garden that made this truly a memorable display.

 

Anniversary day…

On Australia Day we said: “Happy Anniversary Centennial Park”!

The Park was opened on 26 January 1888. We began the evening with a tree dedication, planting a Port Jackson Fig on the spot where the first trees were planted in the Park 125 years ago. A very special guest joined us – Mr Ian Thom, great great grandson of Sir Henry Parkes.

 

Ian Thom speaking

Invited guest, Ian Thom, provides a great insight into his great great grandfather (Sir Henry Parkes) while Centennial Parklands CEO, Kim Ellis, prepares to hand over the silver ceremonial spade for the dedication.

 

Lights out!

Over ten nights we had created an event that captured the imagination of thousands, and perfectly lived up to the 125 year old nickname of Centennial Park: “the People’s Park”.

Thank you to those who were able to come and join us over the ten nights and help create such a great sense of celebration, and the countless others who enjoyed sharing the experience online.

 

Finally…

We’ll leave you with a few faces that enjoyed the event.

 

Family time beneath the stars and the lights

Family time beneath the stars and the lights.

 

The Illuminati stilt walkers truly illuminated the night

The Illuminati stilt walkers truly illuminated the night.

 

Bringing the world together - one jaffle at a time!

Bringing the world together – one jaffle at a time!

 

Families gathered together to enjoy the outdoors

Family time meant together time…

 

An evening out does not mean missing an evening bottle

…but an evening out does not mean missing an evening bottle!

 

Friends made plans to meet under the Paperbarks and have a picnic.

Friends made plans to meet under the Paperbarks and have a picnic…

 

A true Boulevard of Light was created, drawing you into the Park.

…but just taking a walk down the Boulevard of Light was enough for most.

 

And we’ll leave the last word to three banners hanging in our treetop gallery…

 

The People's Park. Born 1888.

The People’s Park. Born 1888. Happy Anniversary.

 

- posted by Craig Easdown

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Don’t stop there. Centennial Park provides 365 day-a-year opportunity for the community. Why not keep up-to-date with the Parklands:

…or simply by coming to visit us!

 

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