Many of you folks will agree that Play Faire Park is a special place here in the heart of Abilene. It’s special because it’s a place where you want your birthday parties, first dates, proposals, weddings, anniversaries, and reunions. Those are all pretty great, however what really makes Play Faire a unique treasure, is the magic that materializes any given night. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain unless you’ve personally experienced the Park and all it’s glory.
Some folks have come pretty close to explaining it:
Check out what Abilene Scene had to say!
We’re excited to be celebrating the 70th anniversary of Abilene's favorite backyard. We’ve kept the park going through music, art, and miniature golf, but now that’s not enough. We would like to keep this monument of fun going for another 70 Year of Fun! Many of you have promised a portion of your lottery winnings, but why leave it up to chance? With our Kickstarter campaign, you can help Play Faire Park brighten back up, literally… Here’s the Game Plan:
What exactly is an Outdoor Play Museum? Glad you asked. When was the last time you had a classic game of tetherball or marbles? Those classic games that used to be all the rage in neighborhoods and playgrounds have started to disappear. These days it seems the only way to get kids to go outside, is to catch the Pokemon in the neighbors yard. We would like to bring people back outside without the need of a small screen. Bring back some of the old outdoor games many of you played as a kid, such as tetherball, beanbag toss, hopscotch, and hula hoops. Most of you have already enjoyed these games at the Park!
Some Other Activities We’d Like to Add:
- Giant Jenga
- Lawn Chess
- Outdoor Ping pong
- Jump rope
- Toddler Play Area
- Play Fort
- Hobbit House/Grassy Berm
… and many more to come!
Play Faire has been around for 70 years, that alone should make it a museum. If those trees could talk. As a museum, we will bring back the games being forgotten, while emphasizing the importance of outdoor play. Who doesn’t love educational fun?! When you go outside and play you get exercise, make new friends, and probably most importantly, you soak up some good old Vitamin D… SUNSHINE! Sunscreen is always provided.
If you’ve been to the Park since The Great Fire of 2004, you’ve probably noticed it’s gotten a bit darker. We’d like to brighten things by upgrading several of the light fixtures as well as bring back those carnival lights we also lost in the fire. The plan is to replace the main lights with more economical, efficient, and much brighter LEDs. The carnival lights will also be LED and will hang down in tent-like fashion from existing poles and guylines. They'll bring light to the darker corners of the Park as well as peek above the trees, making Play Faire much more visible from North 1st Street.
Now, for the really exciting part. You know that building, off to left, when you first enter the Park? That used to be the old game room. Ever since the Great Fire burned down the original club house, the game room never returned after it was temporarily repurposed for the rebuild. We would like to renovate the building and turn it into The Back Porch Marketplace, a gift shop for the museum as well as a home for Howlin’ Dyes Tie-Dye. The Marketplace will feature the handmade tie-dye of Corrie Wolfe (Play Faire’s artist in residence for the past 2 years). Old games and toys will also be included in the shop, along with space for other local artist and craftspeople. The goal of The Back Porch Marketplace is to provide a reliable source of unique and locally made artisanal items that would normally be only available at special craft events. We plan to continue hosting the weekend arts and craft warriors selling their goods, as well as expanding our tie-dye workshops.
General Upkeep that Will Help Take Us into the Next 70 Years of Fun at Play Faire Park:
- replace front sign and other signage throughout park
- replace windscreen on fences
- new roll of turf to replace some greens
- security cameras
- fix up the fence in the middle
- replace rotted siding on buildings
- fresh paint
There’s a long list of really cool and fun things we’d like to do at the Park. We’re going to need another 70 years just to get to them all! If making money was the primary objective of Play Faire Park, it would have been gone long ago. Our main focus is making sure Abilene stays on track, with good affordable wholesome family fun. While we find value in health and happiness, unfortunately it’s not an acceptable form of payment. That’s why we’re coming to the community for help in keeping this piece of property soaked in fun going for future generations. We’re hoping this Kickstarter campaign will help reignite the love and passion folks have for the Park. With your support, we can keep this local treasure going for another 70 years.
Risks and challenges
With several years experience in running the Park and construction, there’s not much we’re worried about, besides mother nature. The weather is our biggest wild card. We’ll just keep our eye to the sky and refrain from any rain dances.
Our greatest fear is that the project goes unnoticed and folks will miss out on this opportunity of fun. We’re hoping our 70 More Years of Fun Kickstarter campaign will help advertise the Park and remind folks that we’re still around. Our best form of advertisement has always been word of mouth, maybe that’s why we’re Abilene’s best kept secret. We’ve been working on our online presence, but it’s hard for an old dinosaur.
- (29 days)