Ark City train re-dedication ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Wilson Park
Team Radio Marketing Group - October 20, 2017 12:13 pm
ARKANSAS CITY, Kansas — The City of Arkansas City will be host to a special Arkalalah kickoff event that features a train unveiling and rededication Tuesday night at Wilson Park.
The first step in the Wilson Park Master Plan, the restoration of the park’s famous train engine, has been occurring under a covered structure since late March. But now that work is drawing to a close.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of the many skilled craftsmen who volunteered their skills for this project, we are pleased to be able to reopen the train to the public,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez.
The re-dedication event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the small gazebo in the southeast corner of the park, located at 701 N. Summit St. Several speakers will address those gathered to kick things off.
“We want to give people such as Carlla Pike, Rob Carroll, Brian Sanderholm, Randy Smith, Curtis Eaton, and especially Jeb Carroll and Kalin Taylor — without whom this project would not have been possible — a chance to talk about their experiences working on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore a beloved, historic piece of machinery to its past glory,” Hernandez said.
Others who will be recognized include two steam locomotive engineers from Arkansas City and a Burlington Northern Santa Fe historical re-enactor, Mark R. Williams, who plans a special presentation.
Around 6 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and photo opportunity. The train’s new steam whistle will be sounded to commemorate the occasion and also to kick off the 2017 Arkalalah festivities.
After the ceremony, the event will move west to the rotunda for a short video presentation showing parts of the restoration process. The Wilson Park Master Plan flythrough video also will be shown again.
There will be a small reception following the video. Light hors d’oeuvres and punch will be served.
The 2017 Arkalalah Festival will begin formally at 7 p.m. with the next installment of the Fall Family Movie Series — a special showing of the John Candy comedy classic, “The Great Outdoors,” sponsored by the Arkalalah Executive Committee in honor of this year’s Arkalalah theme of the same name.
In this PG-rated film that also stars Dan Aykroyd, a Chicago man’s hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when his annoying in-laws drop in for a visit.
Admission is free. Seating is limited, so attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs or blankets.