Along with 200,000 other slaves to shopping I went along to see the opening of Liverpool One yesterday.
For the uninitiated it's Liverpool's answer to the Trafford Centre meets a seven year city regeneration project. For scousers it's a big deal because it feels like the city has been missing a limb while the 42.5 acre site has been hidden away behind the hoardings.
Yesterday was just the first step, the whole complex won't be ready until September 30, still that didn't stop an impressive crowd gathering.
Developers Grovesnor were predictably dull, banging on about contractors and the like. Council leader Warren Bradley was much better, but obviously nervous. Unsurprising, when you think it'll probably be the only £920m project opening speech he'll ever give.
Acrobats then descended from the sky to give the proceedings some razzmatazz, with a high octane performance ending in a pyrotechnic puff, and the opening of the red curtains.
So, was it worth the wait? The crowds thought so, and why wouldn't they with free champers in shops, stilt walkers and models roaming around and an array of new ways to flout the credit crunch?
The design is sympathetic to the existing character of the city, and its chrome and glass architecture was shown off to its best in the sunshine.
It's not Norman Foster, and Liverpool should have had this kind of investment long ago - but that becomes irrelevant when you see how it joins the Albert Dock and the waterfront to the city centre. I think that's the real reason a there's such a sense of pride about the project, and rightly so.