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Giant Pumpkins in Park
Cinderella Lives on in Lakewood, Calif.

The $427,000 in renovations to San Martin Park in Lakewood, Calif., includes a new pumpkin carriage drawn by two horses, a pumpkin patch to play in and around and a large Cinderella's castle play structure.

Playground equipment at Lakewood's parks has changed over the years. The earliest play equipment was basic swing sets and a jungle gym when San Martin Park in Lakewood, Calif., was dedicated in 1957. In 1966, however, the Lakewood City Council adopted themes for its four school-age playgrounds: San Martin's theme became "story book. " That's when Cinderella pumpkin carriages were purchased. For generations of kids the park has been "Pumpkin Park." Unlike magical pumpkins, play piece pumpkins lose a little vitality after almost a half a century in the outdoor elements. Little Tikes Commercial studio of elite designers and engineers, however, put together a design fit for, yes, a prince and a princess. The new pumpkin carriage for the San Martin Park playground is wheelchair accessible and drawn by two large horses. The pumpkin carriage is not a stagnant play piece, but gently sways back and forth in response to the children's movements. A large entry arch opens to the castle, where children can take a zip line down to the pumpkin patch and climb into and around orange static pods of pumpkins and pumpkin vines.

It's said the story of the Greek slave girl Rhodopis (7 B.C.) is the earliest version of the Cinderella fairy tale; the story adopted by Disney was from Frenchman Charles Perrault's Cendrillon in 1697. Clearly the story has spoken to many generations, and continues on at Pumpkin Park in Lakewood for new generations of kids.

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October 15, 2019, 4:44 am PDT

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