Wonderland celebrates 65 years - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Wonderland celebrates 65 years

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Founders of Wonderland Park, Paul and Alethea Roads Founders of Wonderland Park, Paul and Alethea Roads
Wonderland Park Wonderland Park
Rebecca Parker, granddaughter of Paul and Alethea. Parker has helped run the park since she was 11-years-old Rebecca Parker, granddaughter of Paul and Alethea. Parker has helped run the park since she was 11-years-old
When Wonderland Park first opened it was called Kiddieland and only had three rides in 1951. It wasn't until 1967 when it was changed to Wonderland When Wonderland Park first opened it was called Kiddieland and only had three rides in 1951. It wasn't until 1967 when it was changed to Wonderland
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

It's been 65 years to the day since Wonderland Park first opened. 

There was a big celebration at the park on Friday. For some people it was their first time, others have been coming for generations. No matter what the reason may be, Wonderland continues to be a strong family-friendly place in the Panhandle. 

"I like the rides and I like hanging out with the friends here," said 13-year-old Haylee Gossett. 

Gossett and her younger sister, Katie have been coming to Wonderland Park for the past 13 summers. 

"My favorite rides right now are the Rainbow and the Cyclone," said Katie Gossett. 

These girls are not alone. Wonderland Park has instilled such memories in hundreds of thousands of area residents since the park's humble beginnings. 

The park opened in 1951 but it wasn't called Wonderland, it was called Kiddie Land and only had three rides. In 1967 it was dubbed Wonderland Park and expand to 30 rides.  

"It's been amazing," said Rebecca Parker, who helps run the park. "I wish I could have been here in the beginning." 

Parker's grandparents, Paul and Alethea Roads, founded the park. She says Paul was an engineer and helped build some of the older rides at the park. Throughout its history, Wonderland has been a family enterprise. 

"I've been helping with the company business since 1995, but I've never really left," said Parker. "I started working at the gates when I was 11-years-old."  

And the gates continue to stay steady every season, which is one of the biggest reasons the park has been so successful for so long. 

"We wouldn't be here without the people in the community," said Parker. "We love Amarillo and wouldn't want to leave Amarillo." 

Parker plans to keep the park in the family and continue the tradition for many years to come. 

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