APRIL FOOLS —
Ever since the 8-foot-tall piece of artwork called Legoman mysteriously washed ashore in October on Siesta Key Beach, people can’t seem to get enough of the smiling yellow fellow.
His grand entrance caused quite a stir, drawing national attention, including a spot on Time magazine’s Top 10 Oddball-News Stories of 2011. After making guest appearances all over town, he’ll finally have a permanent home on Siesta Key Beach.
City officials recently approved an offer from LEGOLAND to begin the construction of a Legoman Land theme park on Siesta Key Beach.
When word of the Legoman’s appearance reached LEGOLAND Theme Park in Winter Haven, the company saw the news as a perfect opportunity for expansion.
“We’ve been wanting to branch out and open another Florida theme park for quite some time now,” said a public relations manager for LEGOLAND. “When we heard about Legoman washing up on the No. 1 beach in the country, we thought it was too good to be true.”
In May, LEGOLAND will begin construction on the theme park, dubbed Legoman Land, which is scheduled for a late 2012 completion. The first step? Installing the Legoman next to the No. 1 beach sign.
“We’re absolutely delighted,” said a Sarasota County tourism official. “What better way to promote our beautiful beach than to open this great new park? We really feel that Legoman embodies the true spirit of Siesta Key.”
The 12-acre theme park will be located near the volleyball courts and will feature plenty of LEGO-themed attractions, including instructional LEGO creation workshops, building-block renderings of area landmarks such as the Ringling Bridge and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, floating Legoman rafts and giant blocks with which beachgoers can build their own beach chairs.
Everyone seems to be getting in the LEGO spirit. Officials are still considering a proposal from the Siesta Key lifeguards to replace their current stands with stands constructed entirely from LEGOs.
“We’re happy to see that everyone is as excited about this as we are,” said a spokesperson for Sarasota County Public Works.
The beachside concession stand will also see a makeover with a new coat of yellow and red paint and a revamped, LEGO-themed menu featuring items such as Blockburgers, LEGO dogs and stackable French fries.
City officials are enthusiastic about the new opportunities presented by the theme park.
“This is the kind of thing that puts you on the national map,” said one city official. “But we need to start including Legoman in our promotional materials immediately. We don’t want to start getting the wrong kind of attention.”
To accommodate the expected spike in tourism, city officials have approved the construction of a new eight-story parking garage along the beachfront that will play into the park’s theme.
A flashing neon Legoman sign will adorn the top of the parking structure, along with the words “Park ’n’ Play,” to ensure that Legoman Land visitors have ample parking.