Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm at a loss for words... I grabbed the brass ring.

I usually take out my trusty mini-notebook and start scribbling away on my impressions when I first set foot in a park.

Not today. I was too busy being blown away by the uniqueness, the history, the heart - not to mention the cotton candy ice cream.

Seriously. It took me hours before I could stop gawking at the wonderfulness of Knoebel's in Elysburg, PA. My dear friend Ari recommended this park, sang its praises, waxed rhapsodic about the funnel cake.

Miss Ari, you were playing small. But that's okay because it's hard to sum up this park and any praises I can muster right now will seem wee in comparison to how the entire place made my heart ZING.

I'll start with two words: hand cars. I came upon the hand cars almost by accident, when I glanced over at a kid gripping the tiny handles and spinning them furiously to make the little car move along the track ahead of him. Ladies and gents - I do believe these were the very hand cars I used to ride at my dear Fairyland Park back in the day. Or at least these were made during the same time period, at the same factory even. However, I wouldn't be surprised though if they were the exact ones.

That's how things go at Knoebel's. They've acquired rides from other parks and given them a fresh start here. Like the aptly-named Phoenix rollercoaster, which was brought here to live another day, and went on to become the park's signature coaster.

There's, oh man, there's SO much more. The chapter on Knoebel's will be ginormous in my book because there's SO much to write about. So many things just reach out and touch you in a way that few other parks can do consistently -- and repeatedly. And I'm not just talking about the ghosties in the Haunted Mansion.

And any Chicagoan who's of a certain age will flip when I tell them this: the Flying Turns is being rebuilt right on the Knoebel's grounds.

The Flying Turns. You know - the one your parents told you about, that scared the puddin' outta them back in the '50s at Riverview. THAT Flying Turns.

Folks, I grabbed the brass ring, literally and figuratively, today at Knoebel's. My Cottoncandying is flying, turning, and deepening in meaning, by leaps, bounds, and an occasional funnel cake.

(SFX: thud, as Pam falls to floor due to sense memory of funnel cake)


  1. Miss Pam ~

    Thrilled that you're thrilled! But wait -- there's more. On the chance that you're returning to the park today: "Run; don't walk" to the waffle ice cream sandwich stand. Creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two waffles hot off the griddle - this is one of the sweet treats Knoebel's is famous for! Ba-da-ZING!

    Can't wait to hear about (and read) that "ginormous chapter" on this historic park!

    Continued Happy Trails to you!


    (Ari - thank you again for giving me the skinny on the park. Seriously - it really lit up my soul. The place is amazing.)