Remembering the Sights & Sounds of Euclid Beach Park 13th Annual
The Golden Age of the American amusement park lasted from the late 1890’s to the late 1920’s. At that time America was becoming more industrial, and individuals had more disposable income and time for entertainment. Hundreds of amusement parks opened in and around most major cities to offer one form of entertainment. Cleveland was no exception as many amusement parks opened. Better known were: Luna Park, White City, Puritas Springs, Chippewa Lake Park, Geauga Lake Park. Lesser known or remembered parks include; Scenic Park, Lincoln Park, Washington Park, Forest City Park, Willoughbeach Park, Gordon Gardens, Orchard Lake Park, Brady Lake, and Mentor Beach Park. Missing from both lists is arguably Cleveland’s most beloved amusement park, Euclid Beach Park which operated from 1895 to 1969. Individuals growing up in an around Cleveland and who had the opportunity to visit the park on the shores of Lake Erie, have fond and sentimental memories of the amusement park. Just mentioning Euclid Beach Park to someone who remembers the park will prompt a smile and story. Luckly large pieces of Euclid Beach Park have survived these 48 years since the park’s final season. Euclid Beach Park’s “Grand Carousel” has operated in the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland’s University Circle since the grand opening in 2014. Not many carousels have survived since the Golden Age of the amusment park. The Euclid Beach Park carousel operated at an amusement park in Old Orchard Beach after the park closed. Besides surviving the carousel returned to Cleveland something a very few carousels have done, returning to the city where it first operated. Another amazing event, the band organ that was with the carousel for 59 years at Euclid Beach Park is again with the ride after it made its own journeys. Two different owners have the three rocket ships from the parks Rocket Ship circle swing ride both have motorized them and can be seen during Cleveland’s warmer months traveling area roadways. One rocket ship car owner also acquired a roller coaster car from the park’s Thriller coaster and has it mounted to the back of a 1930’s pickup truck thus street legal.
Part of the original ninty acres of the amusement park, is part of Cleveland Metroparks, Euclid Creek Reservation, Euclid Beach Park. Just East of the entrance to this public park, stands the old arched entrance to the amusement park behind which are two high rise apartment buildings built soon after the park closed. Held annually in the public park is Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park. It is held the last Sunday in September so as to commemorate the last day Euclid Beach Park operated, September 28, 1969. The date for this year’s event, September 24th the thirteenth annual. Attendance at last year’s event was estimated at 4,000.
Euclid Beach Park Now, a non-profit organization founded in 1989 as a fan club for the old park sponsored the event. Also backing the one day event was The Euclid Beach Boys and Cleveland Metroparks. A grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture will help fund the celebration of the old amusement park. Donations from North Collinwood neighborhood business also help fund affair in 2916 donations were received from: Cebar’s Euclid Tavern, Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill, Excalibur Auto Body Inc., Great Scott Tavern, Gus’s Diner One Eight Five, Kramer Printing Company, and Legacy Village. On the grounds was the Cleveland Fire Department’s Smoke House and a naturalist from Cleveland Metroparks with some live area wildlife. The Euclid Beach Boys brought some old ride cars that were at the park from their collection including The Rocket Ship Car and Thriller Car offering rides to and under the old entrance to Euclid Beach Park, then toward and under the bridge between the two high rise apartment buildings, from the Turnpike ride. Tagging along for a ride in their trailer and placed in the picnic pavilion, the “First Lady” of Euclid Beach Park, “Laughing Sal.” Also located in the picnic pavilion were Euclid Beach Park related items that could be purchased; books, DVD’s and new souvenirs like T-shirts and sweatshirts. Next to the picnic pavilion, returning for a second year, was WIXY 1260 Online Radio, playing a variety of music from the 60’s and 70’s.
Vintage automobiles, The Cars We Drove to Euclid Beach Park, filled the area where the Grand Carousel and buildings used to make and sell the Humphrey Popcorn Balls and Candy Kisses once stood. Near the picnic pavilion one could enjoy their favorite Euclid Beach Park treat; Humphrey Popcorn Balls and Candy Kisses Weber’s Premium Custard. Celestial Treats was on site with their food trailer selling hot dogs, chips, and soft drinks.
North Ohio Classic Parks, an organization assisting EBPN since the first outdoor event, was set up in a large tent displaying Geauga Lake Park memorabilia. In the immediate area were booths for the Old Brooklyn Historical Society and a great display of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia by the youngest EBPN member, who was born lo-o-ng after the park closed. The Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society had an information table set up. The Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society also had an information table.