A carnival spectacular shepherded in a new era for retail in Ingleburn this sweltering afternoon.
What was once the dilapidated, underwhelming Ingleburn Fair reopened today as the modern, indoor/outdoor Ingleburn Village.
The owners threw an almighty party to welcome the community to the new shopping centre, pulling out all the stops to keep the kids, and the adults, entertained.
Hundreds of locals were thrilled by colourful stilt-walkers, entertainers wearing tables, musicians and even a juggling unicyclist.
The centre, which features a huge Coles and a collection of specialty retailers including Priceline, a newsagency, a tobacconist, eateries and a barber shop among others, was decked out with balloons and other festive decorations.
Kids could also chow down on popcorn, soft serve and slushies, while the adults could grab a mocktail from the outdoor bar.
When the official proceedings kicked off, owner Jonathan Dan, of Dan properties, thanked the community for their continued support throughout the years.
“When my brother Simon and I took over this centre 10 years ago, we never could have imagined the level of support we would receive from the Ingleburn community,” he said.
“It’s been fantastic, I wouldn’t change anything for the world.
“I would like to give a shout out to all the customers, because we have built this shopping centre for the customers.”
Mr Dan also thanked the Ingleburn Chamber of Commerce and Campbelltown Council for their cooperation and help throughout the relaunch.
He said Ingleburn Village was the shopping centre the locals wanted and needed.
“We’re all families here, it’s just good, solid family retailers,” he said.
Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic spoke to the gathered crowd about how much the shopping centre meant to him.
He recalled working at Ingleburn Fair’s “no frills” Franklins supermarket as a 16 year old.
“When I was pushing those trolleys - a hard, thankless task - I would notice two girls in the cake shop looking at me and smiling, one of them in particular,” he said.
“I got the courage to go up and speak to that young lady.
“We’ve now been married for 20 years - we have a 17-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son.
“So that’s how dear Ingleburn is to me, that this place has forged a path in life for me.
“This now is the future - there could be another George and Monique in there.”
Cr Brticevic said Ingleburn Village created not just employment opportunities, but a chance for people to find their way in life.
The centre is located on Macquarie Road, Ingleburn with an adjacent car park for shopper use.