Years ago, cities supposedly designated formal parks which were often named Lafayette Park in honor of Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette and Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square.
We couldn’t find a definition for a “formal city park,” although the words “beautiful” and “old-fashioned” popped up in our search.
The City of Great Bend has its own Lafayette Park, which surrounds the Barton County Courthouse. With a Civil War monument, World War I cannon and historic bandshell, not to mention scenes such as kids ice skating there at Christmas time, the adjectives beautiful and old fashioned don’t seem out of place. But ever since plans were announced to install “The Gift,” a set of bronze statues honoring native Jack Kilby, city officials have started calling the park Jack Kilby Square. Newcomers may have no idea where “Lafayette Park” is located.
Whatever it is called, the park in the courthouse square continues to be a gathering place for community events such as the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration and outdoor movies. We applaud the city for saving money and finding more grant money from the Thelma Faye Harms Charitable Trust to add some informal, newfangled upgrades to our park.
In the future, the Clayton L Moses Memorial Bandshell will become more accessible and the kids will get a splash pad to play in on hot summer days. These are great improvements that many will enjoy for years to come.