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Making a SPLASH: New water feature opens
splash ribbon cutting
A ribbon cutting for the Great Bend Splash Pad took place Friday morning at Veterans Memorial Park. The new water feature, built with Quality of Life Initiative sales tax money, and a pavilion, built with a donation from the Great Bend Kiwanis Club, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and if the water isn’t running, it can easily be activated by pressing the activation post. - photo by Susan Thacker

Friday morning, the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce hosted a highly anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony for the City of Great Bend, revealing the newest feature at Veterans Memorial Park: the Great Bend Splash Pad. The Grand Opening event commenced at 10:30 a.m., symbolizing the fruition of extensive planning, construction, and community support. A sizable crowd gathered to hear from City Administrator Brandon Anderson, Mayor Cody Schmidt, Assistant City Administrator Logan Burns, and Kiwanis Club representative Dan Soeken.  

As the ribbon was cut and the water flowed, the city celebrated not just the opening of a new amenity but also the spirit of community collaboration and dedication. This was evident in the joy of children playing and enjoying the newest attraction.

“This is what the joy of being a mayor is all about,” Schmidt said. “It’s about our future.” He thanked the Great Bend Kiwanis Club for donating funds for a pavilion next to the splash pad and he thanked the voters for trusting the city council to spend tax dollars wisely and approving the Quality-of-Life sales tax initiative.

“We are excited to be able to turn the Great Bend Splash Pad over to the community to enjoy,” Burns said. “This was a very exciting project through the Quality-of-Life tax initiative, and we look forward to many years of fun that the community will be able to have at Veterans Park.”

Funded through the Quality-of-Life tax initiative that was approved by the citizens of Great Bend in November 2021, the Splash Pad project has been eagerly anticipated. The initiative, led by the Quality-of-Life committee, established a comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan, paving the way for projects like the Splash Pad to become a reality. Construction began in October 2023, following a bid from ATHCO LLC for a 50-by-70-foot splash pad.

The speakers noted the completion of the Splash Pad would not have been possible without the generous contributions and support from various organizations and individuals. The Kiwanis Club, in particular, played a pivotal role by donating $30,000 toward the construction of the Kiwanis Pavilion, providing much-needed shade and seating for park visitors.

A collaborative effort involving the City of Great Bend, Public Lands Department, contractors, and suppliers such as Eakin Enterprises, Merlau Construction, Eldridge Fencing, P & S Electric, Mark’s Custom Signs, and Sutherlands ensured the success of the project.

“We can’t thank the community enough for their support as well as the Public Lands Department and all of our contractors and suppliers that made this project possible,” Burns said.

The Great Bend Splash Pad promises to be a place of enjoyment for residents and visitors alike, offering a refreshing escape from the summer heat and providing countless hours of fun and entertainment for families. It operates daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and if the water isn’t running, it can easily be activated by pressing the activation bollard.

For more information about the City of Great Bend visit, or call 620-793-4111.

Story provided by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, with additional reporting by Susan Thacker, Great Bend Tribune.