MONTPELIER — The clouds parted on what had been a rainy Friday to let in some sunlight just in time for the dedication of the highly-anticipated splash pad.
The Montpelier Village Council and the park board were on hand for the dedication Friday, unveiling the centerpiece of the pad: a water slide in the shape of a train engine painted in the Montpelier Locomotives colors.
One lucky resident was supposed to get a chance to turn on the splash pad for the first time through receiving a “golden ticket” to enter. However, the local Charlie Bucket didn’t show up, so Don Brown, the parks and recreation supervisor, had the honor of officially starting it up for the first time.
Once activated, there are water slides, fountains shooting geysers of water into the air, poles from which water bubbles out, spray nozzles out of the sides of the train and from a railroad crossing sign as well as three arches that also rain water down onto the splashers.
Sandy Gordon, Montpelier Parks and Recreation director, said the dedication was a success.
“The kids are having fun, that’s all that matters,” she said.
The splash pad will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. The water is on a master timer that will automatically shut off and turn on the water when the time is right.
Once the water is on, people can use the amenities for around four minutes before someone needs to turn it back on by pushing a button located by the arches.
“You see the line, they’re getting over there to activate it,” Gordon said, gesturing toward a line of kids by the activation button. “(The company) said it’s one of the things kids like to do, be the one who activates it.”
The current plan is to have it open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, though Gordon said that is dependent on weather.
Most of the splash pad was paid for through the village budget, but benches and trash bins were donated by the Montpelier Eagles club.
People came down in droves for the opening.
April Cluckey was part of the first group to use the splash pad with her children, aged 1 1/2 and 4.
“I’m excited because now the kids have something to do,” she said, adding she will probably be down there often with the kids. “It’s definitely an age-appropriate thing for Montpelier. Now, we don’t have to travel to go to a splash pad.”