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Cody Park: Family holiday gathering placeTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Inside one of Santa's workshops
Photo by George Lauby
The Island of Misfits
Photo by George Lauby
The decorated kiddie ride area.
Photo by George Lauby
Parks worker Tracy Dowhower sets up a workshop.
Photo by George Lauby
Children can put their faces in the cutout of Santa and other characters near the kiddie rides. Parks Director Lyle Minshull is pictured.

The Christmas decorations are in place at Cody Park, ready for customers at North Platte’s popular family destination.

Eleven “workshops," depicting jolly and generous actions of the season will be on display, along with Santa's house, a mailbox to the North Pole, festive lights, outdoor fire pits for s'mores and marshmallows, along with low-priced hot dogs, cocoa and even ice cream.

The park officially opens Wednesday, Dec. 4. Mayor Dwight Livingston will plug in the lights.

Parks director Lyle Minshull said 10,000 vehicles come to the park each year to see displays and savor the atmosphere. and, many of those vehicles have 3-4 occupants.

Volunteers will serve food from the concession kitchen, helping to keep the costs down, manager Judy Holys said. Hot dogs will cost $1 and cocoa will be 50 cents. The concession stand will be open nightly except Mondays through Christmas Eve. All the other displays will remain open through Dec. 30.

The kiddie’s carousel and glider rides will also run at no charge. The Ferris wheel, however, is a different story. It is already occupied for the season by stuffed Christmas characters.

Live music will be presented many evenings by choirs and singers such as Rascal, Lodelia Baxter and the Flatrock Irregulars.

’Tis the season to be giving and joyous, Holys said.

Christmas décor is prominent throughout the park. Even the island on the park’s lake has misfit characters from the TV special, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

The misfit characters were installed on the island last year. They include a train with square wheels, a cowboy riding an ostrich and Charlie (not Jack) in the Box. They are well lit on the island, thanks to Beveridge Well Drilling. The company installed the wiring conduit at no charge that runs under the lake, Minshull said.

Also, Santa will talk to children in a comfortable building that serves as the kiddie-ride ticket booth during the summer. Parents can take photos of their children with Santa.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/29/2013
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