New “parkettes” designed to entertain young people and inform their parents or grandparents are planned for this summer at Frontier Village.
Searle Swedlund, executive director of Jamestown Tourism, told the Jamestown City Council Tuesday that the two features would represent the railroad and homestead history of the region.
“There is a hands-on experience geared for the kids and interpretive items geared to the history of Jamestown,” said Alison Limke, visitor experience manager for Jamestown Tourism.
The railroad parkette will feature a loop track with railcars powered by turning cranks similar to handlebars. Tourism is planning two adult-sized cars and three for children.
“We are in the planning stage for the railroad track,” Limke said. “Not sure how long a track we’ll have.”
The cars, track and interpretive panels giving the history of the railroad in the Jamestown area will be located near the front gate where the old threshing machine display currently sits.
The parkette dedicated to the homesteading experience is still in the design stage but will be located where the old fire hall stood prior to its removal last year.
Swedlund said information about both projects is being distributed to community members in the next week.
“It is really an appeal to raise the general interest in the projects and to raise money,” he told the City Council.
Limke said the fundraising for the projects does include an option to have the donor’s name attached to the equipment or on the interpretive panels.
Planning for the projects is continuing, she said.
“We are starting to move forward on the plans,” Limke said. “We should be able to install during the summer of 2021.”
Along with the installation of the parkettes, tourism is planning on painting the church and general store at Frontier Village as part of ongoing maintenance.
Swedlund also told the Jamestown City Council that Jamestown Tourism is making plans for a full tourist season this year. The City Council also approved offering two-year leases to vendors who rent space in the Frontier Village but tabled until the April 5 meeting determining the lease rate for the property.
Limke said early interest in tourist information could indicate that 2021 might be a busy year for tourism sites. She credits the early interest to a combination of good spring weather and people being more confident regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are getting more calls,” she said. “People are looking for ways of getting out and about already.”