What a picnic park should look like.
As has been noted here before, Stricker's Grove is a small private picnic park just northwest of Cincinnati. There are two public days each year, on Independence Day (July 4), and on the second Sunday in August...this year that is August 10.
On this occasion, general admission was $1 and parking was an additional $1. Prices vary from event to event; for instance, next month's event will be a POP event. The park contains a nice collection of rides, many of them classics, and all of them in excellent condition. Stricker's rides include...
|Ride Name||Manufacturer||Common Name|
|Crazy Daisy||Philadelphia Toboggan||Crazy Daisy|
|Ferris Wheel||Eli Bridge Co.||HY-5 Wheel|
|Flying Scooter||Bish-Rocco||Flying Scooter|
|Scrambler||Eli Bridge Co.||Scrambler|
|Swings (kid)||King Amusements||Kiddie Swings|
|Teddy Bear||Stricker||Wood kid coaster|
|Turtle (kid)||Chambers?||Kid tumble bug|
|Cars (kid)||Herschell||Car Ride|
Perhaps you noticed that Tornado and Teddy Bear are listed as "Stricker." Yes, both coasters were built in-house, and Stricker's Grove did a fantastic job with both. Tornado is allegedly a copy of the Rocky Glen Comet (Mighty Lightnin') which was demolished on December 7, 1995. It is right around 50' tall, and features a double figure-8 layout which includes a deceptively small but suprisingly potent double-dip. It isn't the highest or longest or steepest or fastest, but the classic profile, the 3-bench PTC train (only the seat dividers keep this from being a classic), and Stricker's excellent trackwork make this a coaster that you can literally ride all day.
The Teddy Bear is one of the newest additions to Stricker's ride arsenal. It is a fine junior woodie, maybe 20' tall, with a figure-8 layout and a really effective head-chopper effect when you cruise under the lift hill. The train is a PTC reproduction of the PTC kiddie coaster train from the Coney Island Teddy Bear, complete with flanged wheels and a closed right-hand side. The train is very noisy as it rolls around the track; I suspect that this is due to the wheel flanges scraping against the track face. I suspect that this also robs the train of quite a bit of energy, which would tend to indicate a reason that the industry has switched away from flanged wheels to three-wheel trucks. Again, Teddy Bear is no massive thrill machine, but then, it isn't supposed to be. What it is is an instant classic coaster.
The other rides at Stricker's Grove are wonderfully maintained and look like new. Food is supplied by the outdoor grills, and by the concession stand serving cold drinks, Sno Cones, ice cream, and cotton candy at unbelievable (for those of us who are accustomed to bigger parks) prices. And there is evidence that the park is expanding again...next to the kiddie turtle ride, there is a new building and concrete work that can only be for a kiddie Whip ride. The classics just keep right on coming!
That night, Stricker's Grove put on a fireworks display in honor of the Independence Day holiday, but I didn't stick around for it. And I'm kind of glad I didn't, as I was driving home at fireworks time and got to see the best parts of about a dozen fireworks shows instead. I went home that night, then returned the following day to Americana.
Next trip: Americana
1997 Trip Report index
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--Dave Althoff, Jr.