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Intro: On May 1, 1960 two brothers, with the help of their mother, opened a new theme park using the land that their father had leased. Little did the Herschend family know that this attraction would eventually become one of the most successful theme parks in the United States. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the story.
For the last 50 years, Silver Dollar City has remained a staple in the southwest Missouri community. As the park begins its 50th year in operation, it continues to bring visitors back year after year. Lisa Rau is a spokesperson for the theme park.
“The reason people return time and time again is because they are touched by the employees, the atmosphere, the crafts colony and overall the commitment to preserving, protecting and promoting America of yesterday,” she says.
More than 65 million people have walked through the gates of the amusement park over the decades. While many visitors enjoy the rides and attractions, Lisa Rau says that is not why generations continue to come back.
“It’s all in the people. It’s not in the hardware, the roller coasters and what not. It’s all about the people connecting with the guests,” she explains.
As Silver Dollar City continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the park is opening a new $7 million dollar water ride, along with special birthday events and new shows for its festivals all year long.
One new attraction that will be coming to the park is PBS’s program, “Craft In America.” Coming this fall, the Peabody Award winning program will be mounting an exhibit at Silver Dollar City featuring unique crafters.
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.