Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Fall of an Oklahoman Tradition

Starting in 1951 out of the front yard of a man by the name of Robert Bell, Bell's Amusement Park has been a family favorite for over 50 years now. With over 50 rides and attractions, including Zingo, the state's largest wooden roller coaster, the Park has put smiling faces three generations of kids and adults.

On September 10th, 2006 the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authorities announced they would not renew the lease for the 56-year old amusement park. A public outcry happened immediately, with many locals calling and e-mailing in their opinions about the park. To no avail the people pleaded, yet the fair board would not grant a renewal of the lease.

By the end of February 2007 many of the smaller rides were removed, including the Phantasmagoria, a seven minute long, sit-through thriller ride. Some were lucky enough to tour the Phantasmagoria before it's final demolish, details of one person's experience can be found at the Secret Fun Blog.

Today the Zingo is almost completely taken down. Crews have been working since late March and must have it completely removed June 15th, the deadline for all items to be removed from the park.

It's very sad to think about, as I used to visit this place almost every Friday with my family and friends. Date night was 2 for $14, which always allowed for my mother, father, a friend and I to take part in the festivities. Soon this park will become a vacant parking lot, to be filled with motorists attending large events at the neighboring Expo Square Building (next door to the park). Much talk is circulating about relocation, but nothing is for certain as of yet. Robert Bell is very optimistic about future plans for rebuilding the park in 2008, hopefully all will work out!

If you would like more up-to-date information on the happening of Bell's Amusement Park, visit Screamscape.com.

2 comments:

Marjorie Dawson said...

Now that is sad. Really and truly, very, very sad. I hate it when people do things like that, they take away something that is part of people's culture, and their heritage, something that brought joy and happiness. Heritage is memories, the past, and how it relates to you. Shame on them.

carolleem said...

It's a shame to eliminate s fun family activity just to make room for a parking lot. I hope they can relocate.

Carol Lee

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