Crete City Park
City Park is located on the south side of City Hall, bordered by 12th Street from Kingwood to Linden Ave. There are restrooms and a large playground, which includes slides, swing sets, a teeter totter, circular climbing tower and a large play structure.
City Park is also home to several historic features which highlight the park as a beautiful and well-used community space.
The fountain at the southwest corner of the park was originally dedicated on Nov. 13, 1915 as a gift from the Bohemian Ladies Park Club. It was manufactured by J.L. Mott Iron Works in New York City with a basin, two bowls, and a Grecian maiden statue called the “Goddess of Liberty,” holding a lighted globe.
The fountain was rededicated in October 2015 after vandals nearly destroyed it 20 months earlier. The fountain was restored for placement in a new, larger basin with a walkway and benches, insuring it continues to be a well-loved icon of Crete and City Park.
The bandstand in City Park was constructed in the summer of 1924 and the first event held there was an August concert by the 110th Medical Regiment Band, which formed in Crete the same year.
The bandstand continues to be the centerpiece of many family and community events held in City Park, including Crete Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, visits by Crete Elementary and St. James school classes, meals and gatherings.
City Park’s M4 Sherman tank sits at the northwest corner, south of the Crete Post Office. It was originally placed in the park in July 1960 by members of the National Guard. Maintenance in recent years was performed by guard members from the Combined Support Maintenance Shop at the Lincoln National Guard base.
About 50,000 M4’s were produced during WWII and Crete’s is an M4A3E8 produced in 1944. Many tanks of this configuration also served throughout the Korean Conflict. As the result of recent research, the tank was repainted to reflect its accurate service numbers and insignia. Future improvements include a veteran’s memorial with commemorative bricks.
Living Christmas Tree
The first Living Christmas Tree in Crete was placed on the north side of the current library in 1923 to promote a giving spirit all year long, a concept created by Crete resident Florence Hazen Miller. The idea persevered as several trees replaced the original over the years. Crete community members rededicated a new tree in December of 2012 in City Park.
Miller’s idea later reached the wife of President Calvin Coolidge and a National Christmas Tree was planted on the White House lawn in 1925. Many trees have been distributed around the world as a symbol of peace and unity.
The City Park rose garden is located along Linden Ave.