HELENA – On Saturday, Helena residents celebrated the return of an iconic childhood memory, the rocket slide, at Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds.

The new generation of kids lined up alongside rocket, eager to get their chance to to use the slide.

The rocket now has a fresh coat of paint and a completely reengineered structure thanks to Helena College students who volunteered to restore it.

The gleaming red and blue structure is 34 feet tall.

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Lewis and Clark County Commissioner, Andy Hunthausen kicked off the opening of the historic structure with a speech about how when he was a little boy, he used to come to the fairgrounds to play on the slide.

Hunthausen, who oversaw the repair, said on Thursday as the structure was being set up, that he was happy to see the rocket restored not trashed.

Before the repair, the rocket was and eyesore because of how unsafe it was. Many remembered it from their childhood with fondness, but the structure had to be taken out of service before it was eventually removed to restore it.

“I grew up with the rocket, so I was four years old when it was dedicated originally and through the 1970s especially I had the opportunity to play on it as a child,” Hunthausen added.

It was a once in a life time sight, as Hunthausen went down the rocket slide during the ceremony. All the kids watched and cheered.

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