BILLED as “Queanbeyan’s answer to Skywhale”, Morty the Snail was one of the many sensations to greet Queanbeyanites today as they gathered around Ray Morton Park for Queanbeyan’s 175th birthday party.
Throughout the day there was a Freedom of Entry march by HMAS Harman, a parade down Queanbeyan’s old main street Macquoid Street, food stalls, multicultural dances and cake-cutting.
At 5pm a Live Youth concert will be held on an outdoor stage by the river, followed by fireworks at 7pm and the 175 Anniversary Ball in the Bicentennial Hall.
But undoubtedly one-tonne Morty was garnering the most attention in the morning.
Commissioned by Queanbeyan City Council, through a Country Arts Support Program Grant from Regional Arts NSW, the $10,000 public artwork by Queanbeyan sculptor Neil Dickinson will be a permanent display in the new Queanbeyan Sensory Gardens.
Morty has been made out of concrete and has been built on a welded steel frame. The concrete has been sandblasted and zinc-coated to add strength and to stop the steel rusting through the concrete.