On April 20, 1956, what was known as the Country Club Park was officially renamed “The Walt Disney Municipal Park.” It was to include a beautiful brand-new swimming pool. Dedication of the park and pool was set for July 4, 1956. Little did anyone know at the time that Walt Disney himself would be present for the dedication.
One week before the dedication, newspapers announced that Walt and Lillian Disney, along with Roy and Edna Disney, would be attending the Park and Pool dedication ceremonies in person. The effect of this announcement was incredible. Preparations immediately began to make Walt’s visit enjoyable and to show the admiration that the city of Marceline felt for him.
The dedication of the Walt Disney Municipal Park was held on July 4, 1956. Newspapers reported that 6,000 people were in attendance. There were speeches, bands, ribbon cutting, and a firework show that night. Throughout the day, Walt and Roy were constantly on the go, touring Marceline and the surrounding area where they had spent their boyhoods.
The day was topped off with the dedication of the Walt Disney Swimming Pool. In a speech given at this ceremony, Walt told a few pleasant memories he had of his childhood in Marceline. One of the things he mentioned was that when he was a kid here in Marceline, they swam in a cow pasture pond – after they chased the cows out.
Walt left Marceline, but the jubilance his visit produced was to remain in Marceline for many days to come.