Smothers Park is a popular riverfront park located in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA. The park has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, featuring a variety of attractions and amenities, such as playgrounds, a splash park, a riverfront promenade, a cascading waterfall, and a concert pavilion.
The park's history can be traced back to the mid-20th century when the city of Owensboro first began discussing the possibility of developing a riverfront park. However, it wasn't until the early 2000s that the city began serious planning and fundraising efforts for the park.
The park was named in honor of the Smothers family, who were longtime residents of Owensboro and strong supporters of the park's development. The park officially opened in 2012 after several years of construction and fundraising efforts.
Since its opening, Smothers Park has become one of the most popular attractions in Owensboro, drawing thousands of visitors each year. The park has received numerous accolades for its design and amenities, including being named one of the "10 Best Riverfront Parks in the U.S." by USA Today in 2015.
Top Tourist Attractions
Smothers Park in Owensboro, Kentucky has many attractions and amenities that make it a popular destination for tourists. Some of the top tourist attractions in Smothers Park include:
- Playground: The playground in Smothers Park is a favorite among families with young children. It features a variety of play structures and equipment, including swings, slides, climbing walls, and more.
- Spray park: The spray park is a water playground that offers a fun way for kids to cool off on a hot day. It features water jets, fountains, and other interactive water features.
- Riverfront promenade: The riverfront promenade offers a beautiful view of the Ohio River and is a great place for a leisurely walk or bike ride. It also features seating areas and picnic tables.
- Cascading waterfall: The cascading waterfall is a stunning feature in the park that offers a relaxing and peaceful ambiance. Visitors can sit on the nearby benches and enjoy the sound of the falling water.
- Overlook plaza: The overlook plaza is a scenic spot that offers panoramic views of the Ohio River and the Owensboro skyline. It is a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying the view.
- Concert pavilion: The concert pavilion in Smothers Park hosts a variety of events and concerts throughout the year, including the popular Friday After 5 summer concert series.
- Fountains and water features: Smothers Park features several fountains and water features that provide a beautiful backdrop for photos and a refreshing spot to cool off on a hot day.
Overall, Smothers Park offers something for everyone, making it a top tourist destination in Owensboro.
Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is a national memorial that honors the families of military members who have died while serving their country. The monument is located in Smothers Park in Owensboro, Kentucky, and is one of several similar monuments located throughout the United States.
The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was created by the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Hershel "Woody" Williams, a Medal of Honor recipient from the United States Marine Corps. The foundation's mission is to honor Gold Star families by building memorials in their communities.
The monument in Owensboro was unveiled in 2018 and features four black granite panels that stand eight feet tall. The panels depict various scenes and symbols related to military service and sacrifice, including a folded flag, an eagle, and the silhouette of a soldier.
The centerpiece of the monument is a sculpture of a saluting soldier, surrounded by a circle of gold stars representing the families of fallen soldiers. The soldier's helmet and boots represent the sacrifice and service of all military personnel who have died in the line of duty.
The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Owensboro serves as a symbol of the community's appreciation and respect for the sacrifices made by military families. It provides a space for reflection and remembrance, and honors the memory of those who have given their lives in service to their country.
The park covers an area of approximately 3 acres and is situated on the site of a former parking lot that had been used for many years by the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention Center.
The park's location along the riverfront provides visitors with beautiful views of the Ohio River and the Indiana shoreline on the opposite bank. The park is also adjacent to the Owensboro Riverfront, a 1.5-mile promenade that offers a scenic walkway along the river.
Smothers Park is easily accessible from downtown Owensboro and is situated near several major roadways, including U.S. Highway 60 and Kentucky Route 2155. The park offers ample parking for visitors, as well as easy access to public transportation, including the Owensboro Transit System.
The park's location in the heart of downtown Owensboro also makes it easily accessible to a variety of shops, restaurants, and other attractions in the area. Overall, Smothers Park's location and beautiful riverfront setting make it a popular destination for visitors to Owensboro and a hub of community activity.