Upgrades needed at Storybook Land in Aberdeen

Storybook Land was established in 1976, and some equipment hasn’t been updated in decades.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Storybook Land has been one of Aberdeen’s most popular destination for nearly 50 years, but some attractions in the park are in need of upgrades.

Storybook Land was established in 1976, and some equipment hasn’t been updated in decades.

”We have a lot of infrastructure here and some of our older projects are in need of refurbishing,” said Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Director Mark Hoven.

Those projects include replacing the Jack and Jill’s Hill slide, upgrading the train engine and reconstructing Mary had a Little Lamb’s House into a larger facility that can be rented for events.

Those projects, however, come with a hefty price tag.

”They range anywhere from $15,000 to $250,000,” said Hoven.

That’s why a recent $37,500 anonymous donation will help get those projects underway.

”We received the donation from a friend of the park, basically. So we’ll take that fund and it’ll go in our gift fund and we’ll use it for improvements around the park, specifically in Storybook Land,” said Hoven.

Not only are park officials looking at making upgrades to current attractions, but they’re also looking at making some new additions in the future.

“We’re looking at adding another ride. We want to put a ride up at Oz Land, either a flying bicycle ride or a flying barnyard is going to go in there. That’ll be significant, another $700,00 to get that done,” said Hoven.

Other new additions will include more shade structures for playground areas and new figurines.

Hoven says making upgrades to the park is vital to keeping it one of the Hub City’s most popular attractions.

“Storybook Land is integral for the park and integral for our city. It’s a destination for visitors to come and we want them to come and see new things and yet see a park that’s well-maintained,” said Hoven.

Kessler’s Grocery and the Sertoma Club will also boost fundraising efforts at the Storybook Land Uncorked event on September 8th. The event will mark the first time alcohol will be available in the park, and organizers plan to make it a yearly event.

”They’re going to have a wine and beer walk in the park and try to bring a clientele into the park. We’ll go through some of the improvements that need to be done and some of the places that we need some help and try to generate some fundraising for the park,” said Hoven.

Hoven says no reconstruction will begin until the park closes for the year after Labor Day.

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