Fog horns roared, confetti flew through the air, and docents danced to the music of “Celebrate” as Discovery Park of America heralded its one-millionth visitor on Saturday, Dec. 16th!
UNION CITY, TN – 15-month-old Woods Rogers was the one millionth guest of Discovery Park of America, as CEO Jim Rippy had his clicker out to determine when the one-millionth visitor walked through the door on at 11:12 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017! Rippy said that he has been counting people and adding numbers everyday as the park edged closer to this amazing milestone. Woods is the son of Bo and Ivy Rogers from Dyersburg. He was visiting today with his mother and his grandparents, Darlene and Chad Fultz of Obion, Tennessee.
“For a small town with a population of just over 10,000, located in rural northwest Tennessee and not near any major metropolitan area, to have an attraction that has garnered a million guests in just over four years is remarkable,” Union City Mayor Terry Hailey said. “We are excited to congratulate Discovery Park on this monumental occasion!”
The mayor was not the only one excited! The Rogers family was in for a bigger treat than just the celebration!
“We wanted to make this extra special,” Rippy explained. “So we presented this lucky family with a prize package valued at almost $4,000!” Included in the special prize were three lifetime memberships to Discovery Park of America, two night’s lodging at Reelfoot Lake’s popular Bluebank Resort, dinner for two from Sassafraz Restaurant in Union City, $200 in cash to spend while staying at Reelfoot, a bottle of wine from White Squirrel Winery in Kenton, a box of fudge from the Cafe at Discovery Park and tee-shirts from the Discovery Park Gift Shop. Additionally, there was a giant cake available for the park’s guests to enjoy after the event. A lifetime membership to the park costs $1,000 for an individual.
“We are so pleased to have reached this milestone,” Rippy said. “But, we aren’t satisfied! We will continue to add new learning opportunities, new events, and new classes and look forward to seeing our two-millionth visitor in just a few more years!”
About Discovery Park of America
Discovery Park of America opened its doors on November 1, 2013. Averaging close to 250,000 visitors a year, the park is a combination of history and science, in an interactive, hands-on learning environment. Consistently scoring 5 stars on Trip Advisor, the park has seen visitors from every state, while occasionally enjoying international visitors as well.
Jenny and Robert Kirkland founded Discovery Park of America in their hometown of Union City after considering alternative locations. According to Rippy, at the end of the day, the Kirklands wanted to give back to their hometown. Mr. Kirkland was known to have said that he wanted children and adults around here to get to experience things that they might not otherwise get to experience. Discovery Park’s mission is education and its goal is to help people see beyond their current level of knowledge.
Discovery Center is the flagship of the organization, with over 70,000 square feet of exhibit space including nine distinct galleries. The galleries are Natural History, Regional History, Enlightenment, Transportation, Military, Simmon’s Bank’s Children’s Exploration, Science, Space & Technology, Energy and Native American. Discovery Center sits on a 50-acre park that boasts a log cabin settlement, agricultural barn area, Mill Ridge, Japanese Garden, European Garden, 1800s Chapel, full sized antique train display, Freedom Square, American Garden and a very aesthetic covered bridge. Guests can meander along the path knowing that inside every building there’s a unique display, something to learn or something to do. Additionally, the park has become one of this region’s most desirable event venues and hosts over 50 fun and educational events itself each year, including fun dinners like Cocktails and Comedy to complete weekends of learning with re-enactors during Civil War Days.
Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. You can learn more about the complete 2018 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, and visit the park’s website at discoveryparkofamerica.com. The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.