Beech Bend expanding

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 Despite delays caused by flooding last May, Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green is completing a multi-million dollar expansion that includes a new amphitheater, three new water park attractions and two new amusement rides that will open when the park begins its 2011 season in May.

According to Dallas Jones, the facility’s president and owner, the new amphitheater — with a 60-foot wide stage and three dressing rooms — will seat 400 people. The theater will provide a home for a musical production now under development and a magic show and talent show. All shows will be included in park admission, Jones said.

The water park expansion, part of which opened last summer, includes a wave pool, lazy river and water play structure. A four-story play structure, Tiki Island, will offer slides, cascading waterfalls and other elements geared to children with a tropical theme with surfboards, toucans, tiki statues and palm trees.

Two new rides also are being added: a family Tea Cup and a Star Ship thrill ride. The Tea Cup replaces a mini tea-cup ride that has been at the park for several years.

In addition to the water park and amusement park, the 379-acre family recreation complex offers mini-golf, go-carts, games of skill and a petting farm.

Beech Bend is also home to a campground and a nationally recognized drag strip and stock car track.

For more information, visit www.beechbend.com.