Machakos County was the place of choice for hundreds of weekenders as they visited the town to enjoy the beauty of the newly opened Machakos Peoples Park.
The park was opened to the public on Valentines Day with Governor Alfred Mutua offering visitors free entertainment for three days, which ended on Sunday.
Traffic police put the number of visitors for the three days at 5,000. At least some 1,000 vehicles jammed the park’s parking bay.
Most visitors came from Nairobi and the nearby counties of Kiambu, Makueni and Kitui.
A number of families from Coast and who were in transit to Nairobi found time to divert to Machakos to take in the beauty of the park.
The amphitheatre was main the attraction as hundreds jammed it to watch some of the invited artists on stage.
Top musicians and comedians from across the country gave free entertainment to visitors over the weekend.
Jaguar, the musician, stole the show as he gave an electrifying performance that left fans asking for more.
Dr Mutua received a rare standing ovation from the crowd and at one point he was flabbergasted when a chorus ‘Mutua for President’ rented the air.
Among top government officials who visited the park was Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Francis Ndegwa Muhoro, who said he was satisfied with security apparatus at the facility.
He said he was particularly impressed by round-the-clock CCTV monitoring devices placed around the park and the use of sniffer dogs to boost security.
“This is the type of venture I will encourage any governor to go for. Security is paramount and people feel more secure with such apparatus in place,’’ Mr Muhoro said on Friday.
A visitor from Nairobi, Mr Paul Odeny, said Kenyans have always yearned for such openings.
“This is something that will definitely provide social utilities that Kenyans have been denied by previous regimes,’’ he said.
Mr Francis Karanja from Kiambu said he had found a perfect place to bring his children for an outing.
A number of visitors at the park yesterday expressed satisfaction with its workmanship.
“It is good news that despite the grabbing of land by previous regimes that could have helped in putting such parks across the country, we still have people with ideas to come up with such facilities. It is what Kenyans in all major towns have been missing’’, Nairobi resident Phylis Katunge, who took her two children to the park, said.
In his brief address, Dr Mutua said apart from offering a moment of relaxation and entertainment to visitors, the county government projects to generate Sh100 million annually from the park.
He said the park with a capacity to host 10,000 people at a go, is one of its kind in Africa, complete with a field amphitheatre.
Among the features which were on offer to the first batch of visitors yesterday were water fountains, children’s play area, miniature golf courses, restaurants, solar exhibition stand, conference facilities and boats.
The governor announced that visitors would be treated to free entertainment during the first three days of its opening beginning with the Valentine’s Day and the entire weekend.