Residents are urged to come to Wilson Park on April 28 for a special Arbor Day celebration that will double as the “groundbreaking” of the Wilson Park Master Plan.

The event — sponsored by the City of Arkansas City, the Beautification and Tree Advisory Board, the Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau — will feature food, music, a free movie and the planting of three trees in the northeast part of the park.

“We hope everyone will join us in the park as we plant the first new trees identified in the Master Plan,” said Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson. “They will be planted in the only park area that won’t be disturbed by construction in the next few years as the plan takes shape and becomes a reality.”

The event will be from 5 to about 8:30 p.m. at various locations in the park, 701 N. Summit St.

The Charlie’s PizzaTaco truck will provide food from 5 to 8 p.m., just east of the rotunda. To highlight the environmentally friendly theme of the night, the city’s recycling trailer will be moved to the park.

Entertainment options for the night include:

  • The Cowley College Singers, under the direction of David Smith, will perform from about 5:10 to 5:30 p.m. on the V.J. Wilkins Memorial Stage under the rotunda.
  • The trees will be planted around 5:30 p.m., north of the Docking Memorial Garden area.
  • Following the tree planting, Cody Griesel will play his banjo from 5:40 to 5:55 at the rotunda.
  • The final musical act will be Eric Swanson on the acoustic guitar, from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
  • The full flythrough video of the Master Plan, narrated by City Manager Nick Hernandez and produced by Ark City Daily Bytes, will be shown around 6:45, prior to the movie. The plan was financed by and produced in cooperation with the V.J. Wilkins Memorial Foundation.
  • “The Lorax,” based on the popular Dr. Seuss story and starring Danny DeVito, starts at 7 p.m.

“If you haven’t yet had a chance to see the Master Plan video, this will be the best opportunity since it was first unveiled,” Lawson said. “We also will have brochures for those interested in volunteering.”

The flythrough video also will be shown, along with the other videos in the “City Matters” series, at the city’s booth April 22 under the rotunda at Cowley’s Outdoor Market, sponsored by 1025 The River.

“We appreciate our community partners, the Chamber of Commerce and CVB, for helping to make this event possible,” Lawson said. “Hopefully, it will be a night of fun, great weather and a little learning.”

This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.