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On Thursday, June 10, 2021, City of Waukee officials, the Waukee Park Board, family members of the late Alice Nizzi, mining historians and others gathered for the Alice Nizzi Park noodle-cutting event!
Alice Nizzi was a Waukee community fixture who was well-known for owning and operating the revered Alice’s SpaghettiLand restaurant for decades, beginning in 1947. The daughter of Italian immigrants, Alice grew up in the Shuler mine camp. Her legacy as a friendly restauranteur and as a Waukee pioneer lives on, not only through her family members and through the memories of long-time Waukee citizens, but now through Alice Nizzi Park.
At the noodle-cutting event, Alice's niece Marie (Nizzi) Kayser gave the crowd a touching look at Alice's life and the impact she had on the community. She was joined by nephew Jim Nizzi who ran the SpaghettiLand restaurant for years as well. Darlene (Andreini) Oliver and Gilbert Andreini spoke at the event as well, about what it was like to grow up in the Shuler Mine Camp back in the peak days of Waukee's mining industry.
"Family, faith and hard work defined Alice. She was a strong women ahead of her time in many ways," said Kayser. "She was a role model for women, especially to the ones in our family."
Read more about Alice Nizzi and Waukee's mining history.
Alice Nizzi Park is a 3.17-acre neighborhood park located at 715 Dellwood Drive. The design of the park is a nod to Nizzi’s legacy and the rich history of Waukee’s coal mining camps. The park features a spaghetti and meatballs-themed playground, rubberized surfacing, sidewalks, a shade structure and historical elements. It was constructed in 2020.
See photos from the June 10th noodle-cutting event!