Park Improvements
Monday, July 27, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: Coy Miller, 6, of Green City, Mo., has fun digging in the mulch at the playground in Simpson Park. He is the son of Jim Miller of Green City, Mo., and Judy Lynn Miller of Newtown, Mo. New mulch was added to Simpson Park last week along with some minor changes to the four-seated teeter-totter on the east side of the park. Parks Department also anticipates a play set to be built next to a shelter house for younger children.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

Click on photo for a closer view.21st Annual Car Show
Tuesday, July 21, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: A huge crowd gathered in Simpson Park Saturday for the 21st annual Chillicothe Car Show. According to Arch Haslar, car show committee member, the event began Friday night with Cruise Night and featured over 400 cars; and 313 vehicles were entered in the actual car show held on Saturday.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler
(Click on photo for a closer view.)

Bang-Up Night
Monday, July 6, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: A huge fireworks display lit up the night sky around Chillicothe, capping off an evening full of festivities in Simpson Park on Independence Day, Saturday. The fireworks were sponsored by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce.

C-T Photo/Butch Shaffer

For more on the Freedom Festival 2009, click here...

Festival of Lights Preparation
Thursday, June 25, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: Chillicothe's annual Festival of Lights in Simpson Park is months away, but a lot of the behind-the-scenes work is taking place now. Glenn Derickson is going through the process of checking hundreds of strands of lights to make sure that all are in working order. When possible, he makes repairs to the strands if needed. Derickson, 73, is paid through Experience Works, a national, charitable employment program. He will work for the Chillicothe Parks Department throughout the year. For the complete story, click here.

C-T Photo/Catherine Stortz Ripley

Cultural Fair Held June 20th
Published: Monday, June 22, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: A young child learns about Ukraine crafts while attending the Livingston County Cultural Fair at Simpson Park Saturday afternoon. A number of countries were represented throughout the park as the fair provided opportunities for sharing and learning through the use of displays, hands-on activities for children, and a number of demonstrations.

C-T Photo/Catherine Stortz Ripley

For complete details on the Cultural Fair held in Simpson Park, click here.

$85,000 Raised (Relay for Life 2009)
Published: Monday, June 15, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: A total of 31 teams walked in support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life event held Friday at Simpson Park. Supporters of Relay For Life also gathered for a special luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. in honor of those who have battled the disease and in remembrance of loved ones lost. The ceremony was brief due to inclement weather, making the Luminaria Ceremony the final event for the evening.

C-T Photo/Amanda McKay

Chillicothe's Simpson Park was illuminated for only 15 minutes on Saturday night during the traditional luminaria ceremony as a substantial rain storm hit, closing the Relay For Life fundraiser for the remainder of the event. Despite rain showers, more than $85,000 was raised — exceeding this year’s goal of $81,000. Funds are still coming in. "It was great," stated Kati Westcott, the local American Cancer Society community manager of income. "We had a lot of community participation. We were very pleased with the event up until the storm came." Relay For Life’rs were able to walk in the Caregivers Lap and the Team Lap. The flag ceremony and Survivor Ceremony and Lap were also held.

Walking for a Cure
Published: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: The 21st annual Walk MS which is a fundraising event to raise money toward a world free of multiple sclerosis, began at Simpson Memorial Park on Saturday, April 25. The money raised funds for local programs and services and research on the national level. Walk MS included three and six mile routes, complete with rest stops, snacks and encouragement from volunteers.

C-T Photo / Amanda McKay

Hunting Easter Eggs
Published: Monday, April 6, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: Children scurried to fill their baskets during the annual community Easter Egg Hunt in Simpson Park Saturday morning. Within a few seconds, all 4,000 eggs were collected in four different areas for children ranging in age from 1 to 10 years. This Chillicothe youngster is excited when she finds surprises hidden in the eggs she collected during the hunt. The event is sponsored annually by the Grand River Area Family YMCA and the Chillicothe Parks and Recreation Department with support from local businesses. As part of the hunt in 2009, four bikes were given away in promotion of the upcoming Tour of Missouri event.

C-T Photo/Catherine Stortz Ripley

Park Events 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009, C-T

During the Chillicothe City Council meeting held March 9, 2009, the council approved a request from Chillicothe Parks and Recreation to close Simpson Park for the following festivals: Easter egg hung, April 4, 1 to 10:30 a.m., Washington to Walnut Street; Relay for Life, June 12-13, 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., Washington to Walnut Street; Cultural Festival, June 20, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Washington to Walnut Street; Freedom Festival, July 4, 4 to 10 p.m., Walnut Street to Country Club Drive; Chillicothe Car Show, July 17-18, 10 p.m. to 6 p.m., Washington to Walnut Street; and Chautauqua in the Park, Sept. 11-13, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., entire park.

The council also approved a request to hold a Civil War reenactment in Simpson Park on armory hill during the cultural festival on June 20. The event would be a small Civil War reenactment using replica period weapons throughout the day of the festival. There will be no camping or campfires for the reenactment.

Tapping Warmer Weather
Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: With the sun shining and the temperatures reaching into the 50s, a few men enjoyed the outdoors playing croquet Tuesday afternoon at Simpson Park. Here, Jim Tolen takes his turn while fellow players Lewis McColm, Cal Jones, Clarence Arthaud and Stephen Stewart watch.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Work Begins on Festival of Lights
Published: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, C-T

CAPTION: Chillicothe Parks and Recreation employees string up some lights on one of Simpson Park's large trees near the playground area Wednesday morning. The work is being done in preparation for the annual Festival of Lights and organizers say several new displays have been added, including an animated toy soldier, a waving Santa and a Santa’s workshop.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

The Festival of Lights in Simpson Park, a holiday tradition since 2005, will kick off with a celebration lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. According to Audrey Svec, coordinator, several new displays have been added, including an animated toy soldier, a waving Santa and a Santa’s workshop. More snowmen and angels have also been placed. The addition of extra electricity has allowed some surprises to be placed along the walking trail.

Volunteers have been soliciting donations, ordering lights and displays, placing the displays, making plaques for new donors, and coordinating the festival of lights celebration plans. They have also been busy draping garland on all the bridges, lamp posts, the tennis court, and swimming pool, plus stringing lights on various bushes and small trees.

This year, Chillicothe Municipal Utilities has committed to taking on the responsibility of setting up many of the displays as well as erecting the arches. "We are thrilled that the City Council with the concurrence of the Park Board has made the Parks Department responsible for putting up the lights on all the large trees in Simpson Park," Svec said. "We appreciate the commitment of support by the city entities for the Festival of Lights."

Svec said that volunteers can devote their time and talent to the tasks that present themselves every year to coordinate the details that take place behind the scenes to allow the festival of lights to become a reality.

Freshening Up A Fountain
Thursday, October 23, 2008, C-T

CAPTION: Chillicothe Parks and Recreation workers Josh Norris (left) and Mike Wright (right) clean out the fountain at the entrance of Simpson Park. The work was part of the fountain's general maintenance.

C-T Photo / Laura Schuler

2008 Car Show
Saturday, July 19, 2008

Despite the hot weather, crowds showed up in droves at the 20th Annual Lions Club Car Show Saturday, July 19 to view over 300 entries from the 1930s to present day. Simpson Park was packed from the Armory on the south side of the park all the way north, up to the tennis courts with automobiles from Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri.

C-T Photo/Amanda McKay

CAPTION: Some of the cars featured at the Chillicothe annual Lion's Car Show scheduled for Saturday, July 19th were at Simpson Park Thursday morning for a sneak peek. Some of the cars that will be in the show are: Arch and Yvonne Hasler's 1965 Mustang, Terry and Kim Bloss' 1959 Edsel, Darrel and Kathy Rinehart's 1930 Model A Roadster Deluxe, Ron and Betty Price's 1993 Chevrolet Truck, Bob Gipe's 1968 Ford Galaxy XL500 and Joe Preston's 1940 Ford.

C-T Photo/Lisa Houtchens

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1503 Walnut Street, Chillicothe, MO 64601

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