Mia Pekuri snipped the ribbon.

Cole Harnsberger and Kaydon Beall pushed themselves from the lip of the top of the twin slides and let gravity take them on a three-second ride.

And their friends and teachers from the Learning Junction cheered them all with the opening of the new play area at Nancy English Park on Thursday.

The $24,000 play structure features twin slides, a single slide, a curving ladder, a crawling tube, swing sets and large wood beams containing a thick bed of wood chips to cushion the inevitable falls.

Elizabeth Andress of Keep Casper Beautiful said the money allocated from the optional one-cent sales tax paid for the play area.

Casper Parks Manager Dan Coryell said the Nancy English Park play area has been one of his top priorities for replacement.

It's the newest play area for local parks, and replaces one that has required increasing care over the years, said Randy Vlach of the city's construction and maintenance crew.

"It was getting old, and hard to maintain it," Vlach said.

Older play areas used wood, and the deck at the play area at Nancy English Park would often fall apart, he said. "Newer playgrounds don't have any wood."