A three-day celebration gets underway Thursday evening in Owensboro as the city reopens Smothers Park, a major part of a years-long downtown revitalization effort. The Col. Charles E. Shelton memorial is being rededicated at 7 p.m.
The Messenger-Inquirer reports U.S Senator Mitch McConnell, Kentucky National Guard Adjutant General Edward Tonini, and Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne are scheduled to speak at tonight’s event. The memorial is named in honor of Col. Shelton, a Daviess County native who was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War.
The memorial honors the memory of Shelton and all U.S. Prisoners of War.
A renovated children’s playground and new fountain feature are being unveiled tomorrow, with Smothers Park officially opened to the public at 5:30pm. The events conclude Saturday afternoon with a free air show over the park, including a World War II-themed aerobatic performance.
The $68 million renovation of Smothers Park is part of Owensboro’s effort to give a facelift to its downtown riverfront area. City and business leaders hope the revitalization will help draw more tourists and conventions to Owensboro.