LIONS PARK2

Robert Riedel uses a forklift to remove the Go Gator ride from a flatbed trailer at Lions Park.

At 60 years old, Lions Park is getting some new toys.

The Waco amusement park is getting a 40-foot Ferris wheel next month, said C.C. Sirkel, operations manager for the park.

“We just thought ‘the more rides you have, the more people come out,’ ” Sirkel said.

The park also recently took delivery of a Go Gator ride, and its Super Slide will likely be improved in the coming months, said Harvey Spross, Waco Lions Park Trust board chairman.

The new and refurbished attractions come after the park got a new train, carousel and other improvements last summer.

The nine-member board voted to buy a used, refurbished Ferris wheel and spruce up the 60-year-old park at 1715 N. 42nd St.

The Ferris wheel cost $75,000, and related electrical services cost about $30,000, along with new concrete and fencing.

The new addition is just one improvement paid for by the park’s recent capital campaign, including improvements to the Lions Den venue adjacent to the park.

“It’s part of it, but the campaign is certainly not the total emphasis,” Spross said. “We’re just doing a lot of different things. New signage, electronic message boards and a number of things to improve the Lions Den.”

Sirkel, who also is treasurer of the trust board, said Lions Park is primarily funded by donations and park customers.

Spross said the popular “Super Slide,” which closed three years ago because of maintenance and liability issues, will likely see improvements.

“The Super Slide has seen its day,” Spross said. “So chances are pretty good they’ll be replacing it with a new model, not in the too distant future.”

The trust board required a majority vote on the Ferris wheel purchase, and members had been considering adding a Ferris wheel for about a year, Spross said.

“It’s going to be a massive campaign that will certainly be visible,” he said. “It will give folks and families a chance to utilize the park and the den as a greater venue.”

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