FIESTA: Airlie Beach Foreshore reopening soon
IT HAS been a long siesta for the Airlie Beach Foreshore, as it's been out of action since September, while it's undergone a multi-million dollar redevelopment.
Whitsunday Regional Council has announced the official reopening of the foreshore, marking the momentous occasion with the Foreshore Fiesta.
In a statement, council said the foreshore would be completed over the next month, and the opening would be celebrated with the Foreshore Fiesta event, set for June 29 from 2-6.30pm.
The event will be celebrated in true Whitsunday style with fireworks, music, food, face painting and much more.
The $6.3 million redevelopment boasts a beach step stadium, a sound stage for events, a new tourist bus drop-off area, a refurbished amenities block, a new massive 10m high shaded playground, an improved market stall area with extra lighting, 62 new sealed car parks plus extensive new landscaping and seating.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the Foreshore Fiesta would be the ideal opportunity to showcase the newly developed area to the Whitsunday community.
"The aim of the redevelopment was to create and activate the Airlie Beach foreshore as a community hub for families and tourists," he said.
Cr Willcox said the Foreshore Fiesta would create a "buzz" of activity and punters can expect live music and buskers, Latin dancers, beach games, water activities and Tuk Tuk tours along the new pathways.
He added hay bales, beach umbrellas, flags and bean bags will be set up on grassed areas to create the fiesta theme and the Airlie Beach Markets will stay open longer that day in their current temporary location across from the foreshore, to give the grass in the new area time to grow.
Division 1 Councillor Jan Clifford said the revitalisation would breathe new life into the foreshore with a focus being on the unique seaside location.
"Connectivity along the foreshore has been improved with a three metre wide pedestrian path along the beach," she said.
"This a will add to the already popular Bicentennial Walkway by linking Airlie Beach Lagoon area further along the foreshore to the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
"This means that families and visitors can virtually walk, jog or ride along the Coral Sea all the way from Cannonvale Beach to Airlie Beach."
A major part of the project was upgrading and improving the existing major underground services.
Ergon Energy approached council to undertake urgent works to the lines supplying power to the Whitsunday islands and Jubilee Pocket area, which had deteriorated and required upgrading.
The active sewer rising main located in the foreshore was also upgraded during the earthworks as the current one is far undersized to cope with future growth of the area.
This required digging a trench to locate existing pipeline and installing almost 200 metres of new pipe from the current toilet block to just past the cenotaph/ picnic area near Fairy Tree Park.