BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — The whistle of the train, the smell of popcorn, the sound of kids having fun. It’s officially summertime in Bartlesville, which means Kiddie Park is open.
The amusement park has been a staple in the town since it started in 1947. Now, it’s opening for the 73rd year during the coronavirus pandemic while making kids safety an even bigger priority.
“I don’t want any of these children or any of our employees or friends, anybody to catch this," said David Lea, superintendent of Kiddie Park. "Like I said, it’s horrible.”
Lea has worked for Kiddie Park for 28 years. He would know how bad coronavirus is. He recovered from it in April.
“I had body aches, a hard time breathing high temperatures," he said.
Because of his sickness, Lea understands how important it is to keep families visiting the park safe. He said he's been in constant contact with the Washington County Health Department, employees are encouraged to wear a mask and are taking extra steps to clean between rides.
“We have hand sanitizer that they use before loading a ride," Lea said. "And also before loading a ride we have a spray that they spray on the rides and wipe down just to keep everybody safe.”
The pandemic caused the park to open a month late. Lea said it was more important than ever to open this year to bring families some fun after a difficult few months.
“We want the kids to come down here and have something normal in their life now," Lea said. "You know, they’ve been stuck at home. A lot of parents are really happy that they can bring the kids and do something outside.”
Because of that opening delay, Kiddie Park could use some financial help. You can donate here.
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