Kansas City—City of Fountains
Forget the debate over the city’s best barbecue. In Kansas City, the true mystery lies within the watery depths of the city’s fountains. Residents and visitors alike have long argued over the number of fountains, which according to the City of Fountains Foundation is more than 200. And yes, the rumor is true — Kansas City has the second-largest number of fountains in the world, after Rome.
Some, like the J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, are architectural spectacles that command a photograph. Others are more modest, lending a watery trickle to a nearby building or landscaped plot.
The city’s fountains offer more than an elegant aesthetic. To commemorate special events, several of the more prominent fountains have their waters dyed in a show of support. The waters turn a vivid blue prior to the Royals’ baseball home opener, and in October, pink water cascades freely in a nod to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Once the temperatures drop below freezing, all but one of the fountains are silenced. The Northland Fountain flows year-round, creating an eye-catching ice sculpture during the season’s most frigid days.
Touring the Fountains
A number of organizations offer guided tours of Kansas City’s fountains. Kansas City Adventures (tel. 816/920-5513, www.kansascityadventures.com) and Mary Crain Tours (tel. 816/741-7305) offer tailor-made guided tours for groups with their own transportation.
If you need transportation provided with your tour, try Blue Ribbon Arrangements & Tours (tel. 800/490-8687 or 913/649-5111, www.bratkc.com, norma [at] bratkc [dot] com).
For more information on Kansas City’s fountains, consult the City of Fountains Foundation website.
© Katy Ryan from Moon Kansas City, 1st Edition