Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward now has an amusement park.
But you have to be under 4 inches to ride these rides.
That's because it is an amusement park created entirely out of K'nex building toys.
The park's creator and engineer is 29-year-old Greg Nuse of Woodward. His "Great K'nexposition" will be on display at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum through March 2.
The K'nexposition features 28 different motorized models, including 4 roller coasters, 2 ferris wheels, 'water' slides, a carousel, roundabouts, and other amusement park rides, which all appropriately spin, turn and/or loop the loop.
The exhibit will officially open this Saturday with an artist's reception for Nuse from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum.
A PASSION SINCE CHILDHOOD
The exhibit combines 2 of Nuse's favorite things that he has loved since he was a child: roller coasters and building things with his hands.
Nuse said he fell in love with roller coasters on his first trip to Six Flags with his family when he was 5-years-old.
Since then, he has visited more than 55 different amusement parks and has ridden over 300 roller coasters.
"I can't tell you which roller coaster is my favorite because I've ridden too many," he said.
But it wasn't just the thrill of the ride that Nuse enjoyed about roller coasters. He also marveled at the mechanics of the machines.
"I've always been fascinated with mechanical things. When I was really little it was trains and then roller coasters," he said.
As part of that love of mechanics, he said, "I've also always liked building things and working with my hands."
In particular he enjoyed trying to build his own amusement parks.
"As a kid I used to turn anything and everything I had into a ride, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Legos, you name it," he said.
And then when he was 11-years-old, he got a special present for Christmas. His first kit of K'nex building toys.
What made the gift extra special is that the kit came with an instruction booklet which included designs for using the toys to make model roller coasters.
"After that I was hooked. And every Christmas I would get more K'nex and more K'nex and would build more and more rides," Nuse said.
He even got a K'nex kit this past Christmas from some of his band students who found out about his upcoming show at the museum. Nuse works as the assistant band director at Woodward middle and high schools.
He said he appreciated the kids' gift and has incorporated the pieces from their kit into the models in his exhibit.