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Carthage Kiddieland "better than ever" through Harris trust - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Kiddieland "better than ever" through Harris trust

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI -

Longtime Carthage Kiwanis member Robert A. "Bob" Harris passed away in 2013 and left 10 percent of his estate to making improvements to the Kiddieland park in Carthage.

Kiwanis members have spent the last two and a half years spending the $60,000 portion of the Harris trust towards improvements and upgrades to the park. Improvements include fixing the train track and putting roofs and fans over the rides.

"The little cars would get so hot that the children couldn't touch them so we had to shut down because of that, we don't have to do that anymore," Carthage Kiwanis president Larry Cooper said.

A bench with Harris' name sits in Kiddieland, reminding children and parents of the man who made the improvements to the park a reality.

"Bob loved Kiddieland and he made that very apparent while he was still alive and a member of our club," Cooper said.

Kiwanis is dedicated to serving children and members say, Harris took that very seriously. He believed in two things, getting an education and making good childhood memories.

"I think he would be very, if he's up there looking down on us now, I think he would be very pleased with what we've done," Cooper said.

For 50 cents per ride, children and adults can enjoy more time in Kiddieland without the sweltering summer heat interfering with their fun.

"It's made it more tolerable during the summer heat. The rides are a lot smoother, there's more for them to choose from and you know you can have a little party and a good day out here instead of coming for a couple minutes riding one ride and leaving," Carthage resident Jonathan Roberts said.

Roberts is hosting his son's third birthday party in Kiddieland on Sunday.

With four rides, Carthage's Kiddieland is considered the largest non-profit amusement park in the United States according to the Carthage CVB website.

"Kiddieland is better today than it ever has been," Cooper said.

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