O.J. Watson Park’s new train will make its debut on Saturday, during the annual O.K. Kids Day event. O.K. Kids day is a free event held at O.J. Watson Park for children who are five to 12 years old. The event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on April 30.
Children participating in the event will be given instructions on the day’s activities, including archery, disc golf, fishing, kakyaking, miniature golf, moon walks, water safety and the new train. The fishing clinics will provide poles and bait, so those who wish to participate should arrive early to register. Volunteers from Home Depot will be available to help the children assemble kits.
The event will offer free t-shirts and hot dogs, but numbers are limited so guests are encouraged to arrive early.
A prize drawing will be held at 11:30 a.m., followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12 p.m. in front of the train depot. Councilmember Bryan Frye, District V, will kick off the ceremony. Frye, played an instrumental role in supporting the purchase of the new train.
"Through multiple listening opportunities with Wichitans, we found the train was a beloved and iconic feature in the City,” said Frye of District V. “The new train, built by Wichitans, will deliver as a favorite memory for this and future generations."
The Watson Park Master Plan includes a variety of improvements, and citizens weighed in on issues they felt were important. Train improvements, updates to the park’s mini golf, and improvements to pedestrian connections were ranked #1 in community surveys. The train at Watson Park was taken out of commission last summer after 30 years’ of use. City Council approved the purchase of the new train for an estimated cost of $306,250 on September 15, 2015.