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.