Now, it's hip to be square

The town of Kapunda is coming together to celebrate the highly anticipated grand opening of the its $1.8 million new town square.

It will be all hands on deck on March 23 as the official opening showcases some of the activities possible in the square.​

The free celebrations will be starting at about 1.30pm, with Local MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan kicking off the event by officially opening the square.

A gourmet food and wine event, music, and entertainment will follow the proceedings and continue throughout the afternoon and into the night - until about 8pm.

A plethora of performers will be taking to the newly built stage, including Kapunda Primary Choir, KaDenCe, Kapunda Musical Society, and Aussie rock show XNTRICITY featuring Steve Grant and Michael Golding.

The concurrent gourmet food and wine event is organised by the North Kapunda Hotel and includes a range of stalls. 

It has been a long journey for Kapunda residents who have been looking forward to their renewed town centre even before construction began in May of 2018. 

The town of Kapunda has lacked a central gathering location and this project has been on the cards for since the Light Regional Council first took plans to the community back in 2015.

The $1.8m project included land acquisition, development, parking and street upgrades, artwork and 'smart tech' upgrades. 

About 50 per cent of the project was funded through four State and Federal Grant schemes; primarily the DPTI Places for People Program which contributed $510,000 and $170,000 as well as the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program which added $159,224.

This Smart Cities and Suburbs funding was used to further enhance the main street precinct with an expansion of public Wi-Fi network, waste bin level sensors and smart lighting proposed for site.

Smaller arts and natural resources grants also added to the total. 

Local businesses also chipped in, with JT Johnson & Sons, Manita Quarries, RES contributing funds. Ellbourne Engineering, Bishop Building and Ahrens Engineering offered works at-cost or in-kind. 

The remaining 35 per cent was budgeted for and covered by general council rates. 

Light Regional Council mayor Bill O'Brien said in 2017 the construction of a town hub was "vital" to a town like Kapunda.

"I think it's vital, it's one of the few towns in the Barossa that doesn't have an open space in its main street where (people) can congregate, run small events and markets," he said.

"It's a social space in the street; I think it'll be something, once it's established, that'll be welcomed and a lot of people would embrace it and use it."

Construction began May 2018.

The square is now a fully realised community space that features an undercover area, ample seating and water fountain. There is on-site solar energy generation for powered events. 

The event on will be held on Saturday March 23 and is hosted in by Council, North Kapunda Hotel and Kapunda Business Alliance.