By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Enid Kiwanis Club’s popular Kiwanitrain will be back on track this summer at Meadowlake Park, but the carousel and other rides will be missing.
Ongoing renovations at the park mean the carousel and car and airplane rides will not be back until next year. Meadowlake Park is getting new sidewalks and a new building to protect the carousel, which is operated by Enid Kiwanis Club.
The carousel and horses are owned by the city of Enid, said Jim McClain, Public Works director. While work is going on, the carousel, horses and the other rides have been put in storage.
The Kiwanitrain will begin operation at 3:30 p.m. May 26. Cost is $1.50 per person. Hours will be 6:30-9 p.m. weekdays and 3:30-9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day.
The train was plagued by mechanical problems and the intense heat last summer, limiting the amount of time it was available. However, Kiwanis Club member A.J. Wells has worked on the train, and the entire drive train on the engine was rebuilt by Chance Manufacturing.
The rides at Meadowlake Park are the club’s largest service project and its largest fundraiser of the year.
Enid Kiwanis Club President Jerry Cornwall said the club has operated a train in Meadowlake Park since 1955. The current train was purchased in 1969.
The club recently completed a total renovation of the train track, and Cornwall said 95 percent of the track was repaired with new ties.
Casey Selix, the club’s secretary-treasurer, said it is gratifying for members.
“We are excited to get the park open,” Selix said. “The energy commitment and camaraderie surrounding the project make the experience of hands-on service even more gratifying for our members.”
As part of the renovation work at the park, the concrete around the carousel and the Kiwanitrain building is being replaced, and a new ticket booth will be built. New sidewalks will meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards, McClain said.
The old wooden building protecting the carousel from the elements was deteriorating, necessitating the new structure, which will be taller and configured differently. It will resemble a carousel from the 1940s, McClain said. The building will be made of metal and will be more colorful, making it more visible from the street. He estimated it will be 60 feet in diameter and 18-20 feet tall.
Estimated cost for the project is about $230,000 for the new building and sidewalks.
Anyone interested in more information or booking a private party can go to the Kiwanis website at www.enidkiwanis.com or Enid Kiwanis Club on Facebook.