Address: 500 E. Franklin Street, Appleton, Wisconsin.
History: The oldest in the Appleton parks system, City Park was bought for $13,000 in 1882 from Welcome Hyde. The eight-acre tract is located in a midtown residential district. Originally part of the Lawrence University holdings, the college sold this tract and several other acres to Hyde in 1879 to help meet expenses. Hyde in turn sold it to the city of Appleton.
Over the years the park has been developed and improved. In the early 1900's a bandstand and fountain were popular attractions. Both are no longer there, however the circular sidewalk in the center of the park marks the site of the original fountain. In 1937 the outdoor tennis courts were completed. The present shelter was built in 1952 and contains public restroom facilities, drinking fountain, and park department storage space.
One Sunday a year City Park is converted into an art gallery. The Appleton Art Center utilizes the park for its annual Art In The Park show. The first Art In The Park, held in City Park in 1960, featured the work of 19 artists displayed on snow fencing. Today the event showcases over 200 artists and draws 25,000 people annually.
The new fountain contains a Dallas Anderson sculpture that depicts six smiling children in a "ring dance," an ancient game where children link one of their legs together to form a circle and then hop around singing and dancing. The Ring Dance sculpture is meant to capture the natural innocence (hence the do not play in water signs nearby) and fun-loving spirit of children. This sculpture was dedicated August 2, 1996. Click here to visit the Ring Dance page.
For the past few years City Park has also been the site of New Year's Around The Park sponsored by the Appleton Medical Center Foundation. This family orientated event provides live music, food and fun on December 31st.
Fountain 'Ring Dance'
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