One of Abilene's oldest parks celebrates 100 years

Rose Park celebrates 100th birthday, remembers past

ABILENE, Texas - Oscar Rose Park in Abilene celebrated its 100th birthday on Saturday.

"There's just a lot of memories around here, a lot of memories," said Eilene Gipson, who has enjoyed the park for more than 70 years.

The park is bounded by South 9th Street, Barrow Street and Portland Avenue.

Gipson said no matter how old the park gets, there's still many good times she will always remember.

"The park used to be out here to the north of us, the swings and just the other side of the swimming pool," Gipson said. "The swimming pool is gone now but, there was a kiddy pool and then you cross the street and that's where the lions and the bears were."

Gipson recalled family outings and concerts were constant.

"Whenever Elvis Presley came I saw him and Faron Young and several others that were over there," Gipson said. "Slim Willet was there and so we watched several of his shows."

Gipson also said some of the buildings that were once standing are now torn down or serve another purpose.

"Where they have the senior citizen's place now, that was where they had the races and they had a lot stage shows," Gipson said.

Anita Vigial, program supervisor for the city of Abilene, said the park will continue to evolve.

"We'd like to see some park equipment out there for exercise, get your walkers out they can just stop and do some exercise, maybe some more benches," Vigil said. "I know the playground will probably be expanded."

Gipson said she will never forget her childhood at the park.

"It's changing, some of the good, you know when you have good memories it's hard to give them up," Gipson said.


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