KEPPEL KRAKEN: Chloe White, 4, and Haley White, 5 at the opening of the Keppel Kraken in Yeppoon.
KEPPEL KRAKEN: Chloe White, 4, and Haley White, 5 at the opening of the Keppel Kraken in Yeppoon. Rachael Conaghan

Keppel Kraken christened with big

WATER play areas, furniture stores and rained-out Christmas carols kept the community busy over the weekend as the region got in the spirit of the summer holidays.

Yeppoon's zero depth water feature, nicknamed the Keppel Kraken, was officially opened yesterday as more than 5000 children and families took refuge from the heat under the Kraken-themed water jet-filled sculptures.

Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said a strong effort by council staff and JM Kelly had the feature ready in time for the Carols by the Beach last night and the start of the school holidays.

"The kids have not stopped squealing since the water was turned on," he said.

"It is absolutely sensational for what has been a long and exciting journey.

"We are absolutely delighted.

"Work will continue on some areas around the water feature including additional shade sails, art sculpture elements and street furniture to be installed over the next three weeks."

For weeks now Kane Welsh's excitement has been building, with the three-year old admiring the emerging tentacles of the Keppel Kraken every time he drove past Yeppoon's main beach.

Yesterday he finally got the chance to take a closer look, with his mum Kylie Ellingford bringing him down to the Yeppoon foreshore for the official opening of the zero depth play area.

Kylie was so impressed by it that she said she'd be getting into her togs and jumping in next time.

"This is what Yeppoon needs, more stuff like this for the kids," she said. "I think this is better than the one in Townsville.

"There's so many happy, smiling faces here."

Cr Ludwig said the Kraken would be open seven days a week during the school holidays from 10am to 8pm.

The opening of Fantastic Furniture on Saturday was also popular with the region's shoppers but Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow also saw the benefit in 20 new jobs the store created.

"It's great to see an Australian company with such passion and commitment to succeed, a company who is dedicated to Australian manufacturing and who values the importance of community," Ms Strelow said.

Thousands of visitors flocked through the doors with young dancers from Capricorn School of Dance strutting their stuff and the Rockhampton Lions Club keeping the barbecues hot throughout the day.

Rockhampton's Carols by Candlelight was cancelled and postponed to this weekend due to wet weather.

The community is invited to go along to the music bowl once again on Saturday night to welcome Carols by Candlelight back to its home at the Music Bowl.



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