The crowds turned out on Friday 27 April in Gundagai to attend the official opening of the new main street. Sheridan Street shone as towns’ people, visitors and tourists flocked into the newly upgraded street to celebrate the completion of the $5 million upgrade. Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council employees, were working right up to the 12 noon deadline to ensure the street was presented in all its glory. Recognition of the dedication to the project by CGRC employees was reflected in all parties’ speeches. The pride locals have in the outcome was evident and palpable. The list of VIP’s in attendance included, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Riverina the Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council Mayor Cr Abb McAllister, and Deputy Mayor Cr Dennis Palmer and CGRC General Manager Mr Allen Dwyer. Councillors David Graham, Leigh Bowden and Penny Nicholson were also in attendance. Cr McAllister, paid tribute to the hard work and commitment from the team involved in bringing the project to fruition. He also acknowledged the Gundagai community for their patience and enthusiasm. “It’s been a long time in the making, and the perseverance of locals and the communities support through a special rate variation has seen this project deliver to Gundagai a main street we can all be proud of,” Cr McAllister said. A street parade featuring employees who worked on the project, vintage cars, and contractors’ trucks made their way down Sheridan Street, led by five Light Horse Brigade members and a sole bagpiper. The corner of Sheridan and Byron Streets was crowded where the official speeches and the Welcome to Country was delivered by Sonia Piper were conducted. Stan Russell performed the ancient indigenous custom of a smoking ceremony to acknowledge ancestors and pay respect to the land the ceremony is believed to cleanse properties and ward off bad spirits. The Gundagai Choir had the crowd clapping and tapping their feet, with their performances and a brilliant performance on the digeridoo by local youngster Kobi Russell. The cutting of the ribbon by Hon. Michael McCormack had the throng giggling when Light Horseman Ron Dowell beat him to it with a swish of the sword. All in good faith and jest, the action capped off the formalities and the party began with street buskers, retailers specials, children’s entertainment and bands celebrating a project that will see Sheridan Street shine for another 100 years. Photo and caption: Kobi Russell plays an inspirational piece on the digeridoo during Friday’s opening celebrations of Gundagai’s main street. Cr Abb McAllister, MP Steph Cooke and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack watch on. Sheridan Street received a $5 million upgrade and has the local community praising the project and feeling very proud of the new look CBD.