Due to anticipated winter weather on Saturday morning, Johnson County Park & Recreation District officials have postponed the grand reopening of the Dodge Town play area in Antioch Park until April 21. Originally scheduled for April 7, the reopening on will celebrate the popular play area’s reopening following nearly six months of renovations.
The official reopening will be a rope-cutting celebration at 10:30 a.m. along with hot dogs and bandannas for little buckaroos, who will also become an honorary Dodge Town deputy with badges.
The event, ending at 1 p.m., caps completion of major renovations and a few new additions to the popular attraction that has served as a stable fixture at Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, since the 1970s.
Many of the Dodge Town buildings remain, including the bank, the Pony Express outpost, a city hall with a clock tower, a general store, faux horses and cows, and a blacksmith shop. New enhancements include a covered train station, a train-sized playground and decorative cows for children to sit on and enjoy along with a new flat surfacing instead of the previous mulch.
Antioch Park, spanning 44 acres, is Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s oldest park that was purchased in 1956 and opened in 1958. The park was rededicated in 2005 following infrastructure improvements, facility upgrades and lake and wetland enhancements. Antioch Park has remained one of the district’s most popular parks, attracting up to 700,000 visitors each year.