May 10, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Community invited to Parks' 100th Birthday Bash

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board invites the community to celebrate a century of parks at the Park Board's 100th Birthday Bash, Saturday, May 18, 12-4 p.m. at Phelps Grove Park, 950 E. Bennett St., Springfield.

The 1913-themed event features live music from the New Creole Jazz Band, free carnival midway games, food & drink at 1913 prices, a birthday cake, parks history, croquet, badminton, horseshoes, maypole dancing and the sealing of the Centennial Time Capsule.

"The Park Board has enhanced our community's quality of life for longer than any of us can remember, and that's reason to celebrate," said Bob Belote, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. "We invite the whole community to help celebrate our 100th birthday in the park, enjoying old-fashioned games and music and 10-cent cheeseburgers."

A program begins at 1:30 in the Phelps Grove pavilion, featuring official proclamations, recognition of past and present Park Board members, and remarks by John Sellars, Executive Director of the History Museum on the Square, and longtime Parks Director Dan Kinney.

The program concludes with the sealing of the Centennial Time Capsule. Everyone attending the Birthday Bash is encouraged to be a part of history and sign the time capsule register, which will be sealed inside the time capsule, buried in Phelps Grove Park and opened in the year 2113.

"Wouldn't it be fun if some of the kids who write their name on the register are there in 100 years when the time capsule is opened up?" said Belote.

The then-named Springfield Park Board was established May 22, 1913. The new board immediately set about acquiring land to build new parks, and one of the first was Phelps Grove Park.

"It's entirely appropriate that we're holding this event at Phelps Grove Park, one of the first new parks the board designated and the namesake of one of Springfield's founding families," said Belote.

The 100th Birthday Bash is the signature event of the Park Board's centennial celebration, which began in December 2012 with a special exhibit dedicated to Parks at the History Museum on the Square. The celebration continues throughout 2013 as the Park Board asks the community to help visualize the next 100 years by filling out a 5-minute survey online at

The 100th Birthday Bash is free and open to the public. Free parking is available at McGee/McGregor Wading Pool, Trinity Lutheran Church, the Springfield Art Museum, south of the Perry Tennis Courts and on street. A shuttle service will be provided. Neighbors are encouraged to walk or bike to the event.

For more information, visit or call the Springfield-Greene County Park Board at 417-864-1049. For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.

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