LUBBOCK, Texas – On Friday, Joyland Amusement Park released a statement detailing the 100th birthday celebration of Katie Dean, the matriarch of the park.
The birthday celebration will be on Saturday from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Lubbock community members are invited to attend.
Guests are asked to check in at the front gate marked with a birthday banner, so they can sign the guest book. According to the Joyland’s statement, Mrs. Dean asks to please not bring gifts.
Dean and her husband, Jimmy, purchased Joyland in 1973. When the pair purchased the park, it was named Mackenzie Park Playground and had been open since the late 1940s.
The park was in a state of decline when the Deans purchased it and they began restoring the park to its former glory, the Joyland website states. Joyland opened with 13 rides, which has grown to include over 30 rides and attractions.
Joyland is now managed by the second generation of the Dean family, following the death of Jimmy Dean in 1993. David Dean is the current president, but his mother, Katie, is still actively involved in the management and daily operations of the park.
Dean’s son, David, said she suffered an accidental injury in February and hasn’t been out to the park since then. She used to come almost every day, but since her accident, she’s only been able to call the park to check in.
“My mom’s favorite part of owning Joyland is bringing smiles to family and friends,” David Dean said. “She’s very sharp for a hundred-year-old and she still is very involved with the business.”
Dean will celebrate her birthday Saturday surrounded by family and friends, David said. She’s looking forward to being back at Joyland.