Kenton’s Dragon

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Did You Know?

The 50-foot, six ton dragon played on by generations of Mercer Island children was created in the 1960s. Numerous coats of paint have brightened the dragon’s fading color through the decades, but the paint was peeling away and the dragon had fallen into disrepair. The Parks and Recreation Department tracked down the designer of the original dragon to ask about repairing it. Due to costly repair estimates, it was decided to build an entirely new and improved dragon. The bigger and better dragon’s job is to entertain new generations of children.

Artist: Kenton Pies

Medium: Steel, concrete

Date: 1965 and 2013

About the Artist

Kenton Pies, now 81 years old and living in Montana, decided to leave retirement for the project. Pies was first recruited for the project in 1965, in the early days of his artist career. He recently launched plans for an arts center near his home.

Fun Facts

– For those nostalgics amongst you, the old dragon will not completely disappear. Parks and Recreation placed the dragon’s head in some bushes nearby so that it appears to be peeking out at the fun!

– The dragon has been such an attraction for the Islanders that Deane’s Children’s Park has long been dubbed “Dragon Park”. During a playground renovation in 2005, a castle themed playground was put in to honor the dragon.

Take a Look

  • <p>This photo was taken as Kenton Pies installed the park's original dragon play structure in 1966</p>
  • <p>A photo from a historic Sunset Magazine Article (1966)</p>
  • <p>The original dragon play structure</p>
  • <p>A bulldozer was used to relocate the original dragon head to its new place</p>
  • <p>A more detailed sketch of the new dragon</p>
  • <p>A clay sculpture of the new dragon</p>
  • <p>Artists Kenton Pies and Derek Vonheeder</p>

Watch to Learn More

The Dragon Song

  • A custom written song by Mercer Island singer and songwriter Nancy Stewart

Where is it?

Deane’s Children’s Park is right next to the tennis courts in Island Crest Park. The park contains a variety of playground equipment for children ages 3 through 9, a covered picnic shelter area and walking trails.


Near 5465-5499 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040, USA

The new dragon replaced the much-loved, nearly 50-year-old original dragon at Dean's Children Park.