Euclid Beach Park Now, Ohio Department of Natural Resources / Cleveland Lakefront, and the Euclid Beach Boys
Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park goes on rain or shine and all weather predictions; Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning for September 30th called for rain. Arriving Sunday morning at Euclid Beach State Park to set up, saw the sky overcast with dark clouds over Lake Erie. Around 10:30 a.m. there was a brief sprinkle, not hard enough where one needed protection from it. The rain soon passed and so did the clouds. The day turned out to be a GREAT fall day; sunny blue skies, moderate temperatures with little or no breeze coming off of Lake Erie. Euclid Beach Park Now, Ohio Department of Natural Resources / Cleveland Lakefront, and the Euclid Beach Boys presented the eighth annual on Sunday, September 30th at Euclid Beach State Park, site of the old amusement park. This year's event was supported by Neighborhood Connections, a small grants program of the Cleveland Foundation.
The start time for the event was 1:00 p.m., however some of the estimated 2,700 attendees began arriving around 12:30 p.m. Walking into the State Park from the parking lot attendees were greeted by the "Welcome Center". Here a souvenir, postcard with a reprint of the Euclid Beach Park Rocket Ship Ride was handed out. On the reverse side a list of the day's events including the times for walking tours of the State Park pointing our the location of rides and attractions, and the time for the dedication of the newest marker placed at the location of Euclid Beach Park rides or attractions. Raffle tickets could be purchased for a gift basket, proceeds from which will go toward the marker that will be installed at the 2013 event. Local contributors to the gift basket included:
• American Lithuanian Club
• Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
• BG's Highlander
• Bistro 185
• Cebar's Restaurant and Lounge/Cebar's Euclid Tavern
• Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill
• Grovewood Tavern and Wine Bar
• Lucky's Restaurant
• Muldoon's Saloon and Eatery
• Scotti's Italian Eatery
Euclid Beach sweatshirt by Jakewear, Euclid Beach Cap, One year membership to Euclid Beach Park Now, 25 ride tickets for the Euclid Beach Park Carousel when it opens at the Western Reserve Historical Society late in 2013, and Humphrey products including drizzle, candy kisses and popcorn balls. A survey was available for guests to select the ride or attraction for next year's marker. Information was also available on membership to Euclid Beach Park Now and past issues of the organization's publication "The Arch".
From the "Welcome Center" guests fanned out throughout Euclid Beach State Park. Heading West they came upon the circular drive adjacent to the parking lot. Parked in the circular drive were; "The Cars We Drove to Euclid Beach Park", limited to cars manufactured up to 1969 the year the park closed sponsored by Chubby Rascal Cruisers. Joining the historic cars this year, courtesy of Cleveland's Western Reserve Fire Museum, was their 1952 American LaFrance pumper. Behind the fire engine was Cleveland's Division of Fire's Safety House used by the division's Public Education Unit to teach children and adults how to plan and practice escaping from a fire. Also new this year were pony rides, two miniature horses with saddles were ready to take young cowgirls and cowboys for a ride around a circular path. At one time there was pony rides at Euclid Beach Park which ended in the 50's.
The Artizan Band Organ returned, sponsored by ManorCare Health Services, it was set up near where it operated at Euclid Beach Park, which was under the loading platform of the Rocket Ships. Parked next to the organ was the old Kiddie Hook and Ladder courtesy of the city of Mayfield Heights, under the care of their service department. Transportation of the kiddie fire engine courtesy of Excalibur Auto Body.
There was much to see in and around the State Park's picnic pavilion. The grand old lady of Euclid Beach Park, Laffing Sal, was at the pavilion to greet guests. New Euclid Beach Park memorabilia could be purchased, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and caps by Jakeware. CD's of the park's band organs and DVD's showing the old park's history, via three separate DVD's produced by Kelleher-Russell. James A. Toman returned with his book on the old park, "A Euclid Beach Park Album" plus other books published by Cleveland Landmarks Press, Inc. on topics of Cleveland history. A new Euclid Beach Park book was available for purchase. Newly released by Arcadia Publishing, under their Images of America series, Euclid Beach Park, authored by the Board of Directors of Euclid Beach Park Now. A small model of the drop hill from the Over the Falls was displayed. Built by Jim Kelly who also had on display a diesel engine and passenger train car which he painted to resemble the park's Sleepy Hollow Railroad. On view south of the pavilion was some of the Euclid Beach Park memorabilia from the collection of Rudy Nagode. Included were photos of old Hollywood Stars that were dispensed from coin operated machines in the park's Arcade. EBPB board member William Kless had a booth. Bill is a storyteller, not in words but in pictures of the past by use of this artistic talent.
To the West of the pavilion one could purchase two of the park's most remembered treats; Frozen Whip sold and dispensed by Weber's Premium Ice Cream and the famous Euclid Beach Park popcorn balls and candy kisses.
Leaving the picnic pavilion and walking North toward Lake Erie visitors could stop at the booth from Carousel Works of Mansfield, Ohio. Carousel Works has been contracted to restore the frame and mechanism for the Euclid Beach Park Carousel. Next to them was the stall for Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society displaying a horse that will be on the carousel when operating late 2013 at the Western Reserve Historical Society. The pavilion that will house the carousel is under construction and guests could view the architectural renderings of the completed building. Information could also be obtained on the project, the Society, and membership. Across the way, Northern Ohio Classic Parks with a display of Geauga Lake Park memorabilia. Along another walkway were booths of the Midwest Railroad Preservation Society, Old Brooklyn Historical Society, Woodland Cemetery Foundation, dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery and the Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society. The Collinwood Nottingham neighborhood being the home to old Euclid Beach Park. Rounding out the informational booths were those of: Adopt-a-Beach, Euclid Beach Team, part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes and ManorCare Health Services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. ManorCare is located on Lake Shore Boulevard on land that was once part of Euclid Beach Park.
Paying a visit were horses with riders from the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit and one horse and rider from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Mounted Unit. Occasionally the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit was dispatched to Euclid Beach Park for crowd control, mainly for the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Steer Roast which drew large crowds of up to 100,000.
Other than Euclid Beach Park treats other food was available for purchase. Hot dogs, chips and pop from Zog Dogs and fresh squeezed lemonade from Celestial Treats.
As in years past photo posters were set up within the State Park of the rides and attractions at Euclid Beach Park. Part of the funds from the grant provided by Neighborhood Connections went toward the purchase of new all weather photo posters which included text relating to the photo or photos. At 3:00 p.m. the newest park marker was dedicated along the eastern pathway in the State Park, nearest the fence bordering the trailer park. The new marker recognizes the three clustered roller coasters that that were located and operating in that area the last day of the amusement park's operation; the Flying Turns, the Thriller, and the Racing Coaster. Ward 11, Cleveland City Councilman Michael Polensek made a few remarks at the dedication of the new marker which was well attended by event visitors. At the 2012 event the first park marker was dedicated for the Euclid Beach Park Carousel and is located within the circular drive adjacent to the parking lot.
A few old ride cars from the park were displayed including a car from the Dodgem and the Flying Turns sponsored by Jergens Industrial Supply. Two other old ride cars were available for rides; the Rocket Ship Car and the Thriller Car, both owned by The Euclid Beach Boys. The Rocket Ship Car is one of the original rocket ships motorized, from the Rocket Ship Ride and the Thriller Car is one of the coaster cars from the Thriller mounted on a 1951 Chevrolet truck that was once a maintenance vehicle at Euclid Beach Park.