TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- Hundreds of people showed up at Gage Park on Saturday for the opening day of the mini-train. The ride begins its 54th season in operation and for some families, it’s the 54th year of a family tradition.
“Probably the biggest memory maker we have in Shawnee County is the Gage Park mini-train,” Mike McLaughlin, Public Information Officer at Shawnee County Parks and Recreation, said.
For one woman, the train ride is an annual tradition dating back to when she was a child.
“The kids enjoy it and we enjoy the train and the zoo. We make a yearly trip out of it, multiple times,” Kiysa Flerlage, a Junction City resident, said.
Flerlage makes the one hour drive from Junction City to Topeka multiple times a year just to enjoy the park and train. One day, her kids might even do the same thing and carry on the tradition.
For others, the train was a symbol of freedom from the indoors while in the pandemic. It gave people a chance to get out and enjoy the weather.
“So we are super excited to finally kind of start getting out and experiencing life again after the cold spell we just had and you know the current climate,” Kendra Morgan, a mini-train passenger, said.
In 2020, the train didn’t open until the end of June due to the pandemic. This year, the park staff members know the measures it takes to ensure passenger safety. They clean and disinfect the train between each ride.
Tickets are $2 to ride, but the memories made on the train are priceless.
Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last ride at 4:45 p.m. To learn more about the mini-train click here.