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Second stage of Hamilton's Embassy Park unveiled tonight

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Further enhancements to one of Hamilton's most colourful parks will be unveiled tonight when the Stage 2 of the Embassy Park redevelopment is formally opened.

The result of an ongoing collaboration between Hamilton City Council and The Riff Raff Public Arts Trust, the upper part of Embassy Park is themed around the Rocky Horror Show, the cult classic stage musical and film.

The ongoing development of Embassy Park is also part of Hamilton City Council's Central City Transformation Plan.

The city's connection to the Rocky Horror Show is through the creator, Richard O'Brien. Mr O'Brien was inspired by his nostalgia for the years he spent watching the Late Night Double feature Picture Show at The Embassy Theatre, which previously stood on the site, and "cutting hair and daydreaming" in the barber shop out the front, on the spot where the statue now stands.

The Riff Raff statue, donated to the city by the Riff Raff Public Arts Trust, has stood on the site since November 2004. It's now been complemented by a bespoke chandelier, a pavilion featuring a "green room" for street theatre performers, gargoyles, gadgets from the lab of Rocky Horror character Frank N.Furter, and new public toilets.

Tonight's event, which begins at 7pm, is being managed by the Hamilton Central Business Association and will see Mayor Julie Hardaker join Mr O'Brien to ceremonially cut the ribbon on the new additions. Performers from the Hamilton Operatic Society's season of The Rocky Horror Show will be attending in character.

"Richard O'Brien is one of New Zealand's superstars and I'm thrilled to join him tonight to cut the ribbon on this redevelopment - which is long overdue," says Mayor Julie Hardaker.

"Congratulations and a big thank you to the Trust, HCBA and all the team and donors who have made this possible, great job. I remember the first meeting and ideas session we had and now it is a reality and fitting tribute to Richard and Riff Raff. Another project ticked in the Central City Transformation Plan too."

Sandy Turner, General Manager of the Hamilton Central Business Association, has welcomed the completion of Stage 2 of the project.

"Hamilton Central Business Association has been involved since the conception and projects like this major collaboration don't happen without our sponsors or volunteers, and the celebration is to thank everyone involved," she says. "We should all feel very proud."

The opening is a public event.

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