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Find some fun in Founders Park this June

June 03, 2021

Founders Park is hidden away from Downtown Springfield’s main thoroughfares. If you haven’t spent much time in this .7-acre park at 330 East Water St., this June is a great chance to fix that. 

Three regular events are scheduled for Founders Park, all of them free and all of them packed with family-friendly fun. Here are the details.

First Friday at Founders Park

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is bringing live music and live art to First Friday Art Walks this summer, in a festive, socially-distanced atmosphere. June’s First Friday at Founders Park features live music from the Jin J. X Group. The talented guitarist will be joined onstage by Aaron King and Jacob Henderson from 6-8:30 p.m. Artists Rebekah Polly and Ashley Laren will be creating live art as well. X, Laren and Polly are all members of the Artists Empowerment Collective, an organization that is encouraging and promoting the artistry of black, indigenous and all artists of color in the greater Springfield area.

First Friday at Founders Park will return in July. Stay tuned for more details.

Movies at Founders Park

When the music stops Friday night, the movie will begin. The Park Board’s Movies at Founders Park series returns in 2021 with new release and classic movies. The shows are free, just bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. The movies are free and begin at dusk. Concessions will be available for purchase on-site. The Park Board prohibits alcohol, pets and tobacco at Movies at Founders Park.

Safety and technology concerns will force movies to be postponed or canceled if it rains during the screening.

Friday nights are date nights, with movies rated PG or PG-13. Saturdays are for families, with movies rated G and PG. Here’s the full schedule for Movies at Founders Park.

June 4 — Wonder Woman 1984 (PG-13)

June 5 — Trolls World Tour (PG)

June 11 — Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)

June 12 — Frozen 2 (PG)

June 18 — Shazam! (PG-13)

June 19 — Dumbo (PG)

June 25 — Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)

June 26 — The Addams Family (PG)

July 9 — The Goonies (PG)

July 10 — The Lion King (PG)

July 16 — All My Life (PG-13)

July 17 — Raya and the Last Dragon (PG)

July 19 — How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG)

July 23 — Toy Story 4 (G)

July 24 — Onward (PG)

July 30 — Monsters University (G)

July 31 — Shrek (PG)

Wednesday Concerts @ Noon at Founders Park

Grab your lunch and head to the park for Wednesday Concerts @ Noon at Founders Park. The series is presented by the Park Board and the Downtown Springfield CID.

Music starts, of course, starts around noon and the series features local artists. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the season.

June 9 — David J. Hinson

June 16 — Sarah M. Smith

June 23 — The Springfield Community Jazz Ensemble

June 30 — The Bridgetones

You don’t need a special event to visit Founders Park. It’s open daily. The design theme of the park resembles the historic Phenix Quarry, near Willard, which used steam-operated saws to cut large blocks of limestone for shipment throughout the country. The Great Seal of the state of Missouri was carved on site at Phenix Quarry.

There are five major areas within the park’s boundaries:

  • 250-seat amphitheater with an 18-by-30-foot stage
  • Re-creation of the original spring used by our founders near the site of the park
  • An area for native prairie grasses, which existed on the nearby Kickapoo Prairie
  • Uplands woods area depicting the natural hardwood forest which once existed on the site and a 10-by-120-foot historical mural covering the first 100 years of Springfield’s citizens, buildings and local historical events
  • Historical timeline describes the growth of Springfield during its first 100 years and how national and international events played a part in the city’s development

Visit the Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s website for more information about Founders Park.