Keeper of the Plans

Why is there a giant dinosaur in downtown Wichita?

A T. rex replica, a teaser for the upcoming Field Station: Dinosaurs attraction in Derby, has been installed on Waterman Street near Intrust Bank Arena.
A T. rex replica, a teaser for the upcoming Field Station: Dinosaurs attraction in Derby, has been installed on Waterman Street near Intrust Bank Arena. The Wichita Eagle

Here’s a question you probably thought you’d never hear: Why is there a giant T. rex in downtown Wichita?

Sure enough, there is a 18-foot-tall dinosaur sculpture installed near Intrust Bank Arena, off Waterman.

It’s become a popular selfie spot since it was installed earlier this month, leaving some to wonder: Whence did this T. rex replica come?

The dino is a teaser for the upcoming Field Station: Dinosaurs theme park set to open in Derby this Memorial Day.

Dubbed “Ruth,” this “Kansasaurus” will be in downtown Wichita until the Derby park’s opening, said Guy Gsell, executive producer of the park.

Though the dinosaurs at the park will be animatronic and interactive, Ruth’s tenure across from the arena will be a stationary one.

“This is not one of the dinosaurs that will be in Wichita permanently,” Gsell said. “The dinosaurs in Derby are a new generation of dinosaurs. This guy is really just here as a scouting party for the other dinosaurs.”

The replica, which is 26 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail, has been a hit with children and adults alike, he said.

“What we see are carloads of families getting out and taking pictures with the dinosaurs – it seems like an endless parade,” Gsell said. “It has increased a lot of traffic to our website and our Facebook page as well.”

Field Station: Dinosaurs is a $6.5 million attraction that will feature more than 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs in a 14-acre park at the corner of Rock Road and Patriot Avenue.

The park is hosting a job fair for people interested in working there on Thursday at The Venue at Madison Avenue Central Park, 512 E. Madison. For more information, visit www.kansasdinos.com or email jobs@fieldstationdinosaurs.com.

An announcement event for Field Station: Dinosaurs, a prehistoric theme park, held in Derby on Thursday let children get up close and personal with a T-Rex named T. (Brian Hayes / Eagle correspondent / Nov. 16, 2017)

  Comments