People across the Midwest know spring has arrived when the crocuses pop up, birds start chirping and baseball returns to the radio.
In Kansas City, there’s an even surer sign: The fountains start flowing again.
The City of Fountains has dozens of statuesque spurts across the metro area, and they’re scheduled to emerge from their winter hibernation on the same day.
Fountain Day is on April 16 this year, later than normal. That’s a good thing after a hard winter, says Patrick Dunn, president of the City of Fountains Foundation.
“A winter like we had is really hard on them,” he says. “Just like you see all the potholes around town, this weather doesn’t do any good for the fountains.”
In fact, the severity of the winter means it’s possible the ceremonial first flow of Fountain Day will need to be moved. The occasion is supposed to be marked at Delbert J. Haff Circle Fountain at Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway, but the crews that have spent the winter renovating the fountain were slowed by the snow and frigid temperatures.
The renovation of Haff Fountain, one of 48 Dunn’s foundation manages, cost $1.5 million, one of the more expensive projects the group has tackled. The fountain was installed in 1940, and its pipes had shown their 80-year age.
“The maintenance is extremely expensive,” Dunn says. “Once you get in there and start poking around, there’s always more to do than you expected.”
The renovation of the Dunn fountain is certainly something to celebrate — as is the end of a rough winter that started with a November blizzard and continued with snowfall and single-digit temperatures in March. You’ll know it’s over when you see the fountains flowing.
GO: Fountain Day is Tuesday, April 16. Ceremony scheduled for Delbert J. Haff Circle Fountain at the intersection of Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway. 11 am. Check kcfountains.com for updates and possible changes to the schedule.