Lakeside Amusement Park
Here we choose to showcase an establishment that has a long standing history in the Denver area. You’re not going to find their commercials on national television and you’ve probably not have heard about the place if you’re not from the area.
What we have here is a turn-of-the-century historical theme park. What it lacks in new age rollercoasters, digital rides, and cutting edge technologies it makes up for in history, antiquity, and experience.
Lakeside Amusement Park opened in 1908 as White City (a common name for dozen’s of theme parks at the time). It is built next to Lake Rhonda and is one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States. Built by Adolph Zang, a prominent Denver brewer, it changed hands in 1930’s to Ben Krasner. Rhonda Kranser, Ben’s daughter (oh whom which the adjacent lake is named after) still runs the park today.
Through out its time Lakeside was home to the beautiful Casino Theatre and the El Patio Ballroom hosting orchestras and bands, a swimming pool, baseball diamond turned racetrack, swimming beach and diving platform, and full service restaurants and bars.
Many of the original buildings and structures remain in the park today as does the operational carousel and mini-scale model train from 1908. The park also still uses a system is which a small admission fee is charged for each individual and rides are purchased by using tickets obtained through a “cash for tickets” system.
When visiting this establishment and walking around if one pays close attention to detail the true history of the place shows itself. Through historic photos in different areas of the park, operational rides that are from the rock and roll era and as old as the park itself, and the architecture of the buildings are some queues that give us a glimpse into the past.
Here we can be frank. Lakeside has probably seen more glorious days. This however does not discount the fact that this establishment has a long running history filled with innovation, culture, and class. Nor does it discount the fact that remains one of the few affordable day-trip theme parks for families and friends in the area. Even though it may look much different than it has in the past the fact that Lakeside is still around after all years has to say something.
Let us celebrate this establishments long-standing history and presence within our city whether you chose to visit for the rides or the history. Cheers!
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