Cuenca’s Parque de la Madre reopened Friday night with a bash and a blast, a concert and fireworks, and the the fun continued Saturday as thousands turned out to check out the
Ecuador’s top singing act, Juan Fernando Velesco, performed for a crowd estimated at 7,000 Friday night and event organizers said that Saturday’s events drew 15,000 to 20,000.
Among the most popular additions to the park were the children’s playground which features dozens of rides, jungle gyms and obstacle courses. The hottest attraction, based on the numbers, was the kids’s zipline.
Dozens of food, crafts and information booths were set up at the south end of the park, circling the performance stage. During the course of the day, salsa, tango, indigenous and belly dancers performed along with local singers. The Cuenca canine corps joined the dance, demonstrating its prowess with a variety of pet tricks. Earlier, mounted police performed the pony show.
Food choices, offered by various civic organizations and businesses, ranged from hotdogs to cuy and diners gathered in the shade to eat.
Events continues on Sunday with more of the same, plus athletic events.
The $6 million, 18-month restoration project has expanded the park from 29,000 to 36,000 meters, with the addition of property to the southeast that was originally a vehicle repair facility.
The new park includes underground parking for 200 vehicles with a tiled performance area above, an asphalt running track, activity and concert grounds, a children’s playground, exercise areas, bathrooms and dressing rooms for sporting activities, and sports facilities.
A new planetarium is under construction on the south side of the park, expected to be completed in September. A sign advertises that it will be the best and biggest in Ecuador.