ACT News


Wet and wild … it's carnival season

Bumper boats in Civic Square. Rock climbing in Garema Place. Camel rides on Ainslie Avenue.

And it's all free.

The first Christmas Carnival in the City is set to enliven the heart of Canberra before the annual exodus to the coast.

It's being billed as an ''adventure playground'' in the centre of the city and a chance for landlocked Canberra to get close to some wet stuff during what is expected to be a hotter-than-usual summer.

There will even be lifesavers patrolling Civic Square as large temporary pools of water are brought in to accommodate the bumper boats and water balls.

The carnival is being staged from December 10 to 21 by Canberra CBD Ltd at a cost of more than $100,000 to entice shoppers into the city.


The company's chief executive officer, Stephen Gregory, said the carnival was a good follow-up to the ice skating and roller skating put on by the group previously.

''Instead of just creating ambience, we wanted to do something that actually attracted people into the city,'' he said.

''We're really looking forward to bringing some fun and excitement into the city during the festive season,'' Mr Gregory said.

There will be a Kidz Gym - an inflatable obstacle course - in City Walk. Camel rides will be conducted along Ainslie Avenue. A bungee trampoline will be on offer in Civic Square.

Water balls - large inflatable balls into that people get and then bob or run on water - will also be in Civic Square, as will the bumper boats.

A bungee run, which allows two people to compete against each other while tied to bungee cords, will be put on in Civic Walk.

ActewAGL and Actew Water will provide the water and energy at no cost to Canberra CBD Ltd, a not-for-profit company funded by levies on businesses. Hunter Valley Amusement Hire is putting on most of the attractions.

With the bumper boats and water balls involved, Royal Life Saving Australia ACT will be on hand to offer assistance and advice on water safety.

Royal Life Saving ACT executive officer Sean Hodges said the organisation was delighted to be involved .

''Christmas Carnival in the City is going to be a great event for everyone to enjoy,'' he said.

''We're pleased to be involved to help spread the Christmas cheer and also to send out the message to people on the importance of safe play around water in the warmer months.''

■ Christmas Carnival in the City will be on from December 10 to 21 from noon to 8pm. School and community choirs will be participating in the festivities, with a carol performance held each night between 6pm and 7pm.

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