Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy 120th Birthday, Conneaut Lake Park!

CLP bears the distinction of being the only park I visited numerous times for my book.  I did so because I wanted to watch its progress, I wanted to champion it, and, most importantly, I yearned to learn more about its history each time.  As Conneaut Lake Park will be celebrating its 120th anniversary this very year, I give you some of my most favorite photos, taken in 2009, when the park had just re-opened, in 2010, on a rainy day when the park was closed (more about that coming up) and in 2011, when I witnessed the miracle that having faith can accomplish.

In 2009, the park was back, after being closed for two years.  I absolutely fell in love with it, for some of the following reasons:

There be gentle ponies you can ride.  The same family has been in charge of the ponies for over fifty years.

A magnificent carousel, teeming with beautifully-appointed steeds, greeted us with a pipe organ "ta-da"!  The center portion of the ride boasts hand-painted images of the park's history.  If you look closely, you can see the Kaylee Belle, the park's lake excursion boat.

And then there's the Devils Den.  Back in 2009, this sinister harpy greeted you to the dank depths of this classic dark ride.

In 2010, we visited the park, only to have it be closed due to the weather.  However, that didn't hinder the special event going on at the Beach Club: the team from T.V.'s "Paranormal State" were there to lead folks through the haunted Hotel Conneaut.watch Paranormal State season

Happiness prevailed in 2011, when the Blue Streak rollercoaster was back up and hopping, due to the great fortune of the park winning a $50,000 Pepsi Challenge prize. 

Now, I can't really "do" coasters, but I can thrill to the rarest of rare rides when I need to.  And I NEEDED to ride the Tumble Bug, one of only three in existence.  It makes me gleeful.

We set aside some time to take in the schnazzy new mini golf.  Heavens to Betsy, I actually won.  I never win at mini golf, but the putt putt gods were with me that day.
And I felt so brave from my victory, that I knew I could take on the Devil's Den again, and come face to face with the dreaded Gum Wall!  Note the gummy-gooey texture in the photo beneath....

Simply put, Conneaut Lake Park holds its history dearly.  And I raise a glass (juice soda at this very moment, perhaps something stronger later this evening) to its continuation.  Conneaut Lake Park is a place that matters.

That's what these old friends believe...
And so does Ben, pictured here on the venerable Blue Streak.
Congrats again, CLP!  Here's to a wonderful 2012 season!!

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