Local amusement park officials are hoping for an assist from a special lady this summer.
"We are hoping that Mother Nature cooperates and we have great weather," said Amy Mearkle, spokeswoman for DelGrosso's Amusement Park, Tipton.
"This business is so weather dependent. We hope the lingering winter will lead to a big summer for everybody. If the weather cooperates, we will have a good season," said Lakemont Park General Manager Melissa Vyborny.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Dan Miles, who works in the maintenance department at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton, gives the Dizzy Dragon a last test run before the park opens for the season on Saturday.
DelGrosso's will kick off its 66th season at 11 a.m. Saturday with two hours of free rides. On Sunday, all mothers can ride for free.
Park officials are excited to get the season under way.
"Our staff has been hard at work for months preparing for the season, and we are excited to get the summer fun started," said General Manager Carl Crider Jr.
If you go
DelGrosso's Amusement Park, 4352 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd., Tipton, will open on Saturday, then be open on weekends until June 1 and May 25-27 for Memorial Day weekend. The phone number is 684-3538.
Lakemont Park, 700 Park Ave., will open May 25-27 for Memorial Day weekend. Regular hours start June 1. The park is closed every Monday and Tuesday after Memorial Day except for Labor Day. The phone number is 949-7275.
Lakemont Park will open to the public May 25 for the Memorial Day weekend. Lakemont switched to a late opening in 2007.
Neither park has added new rides for the season.
DelGrosso's major addition is a 960-square-foot family restroom in the picnic grove area.
"Our new restroom infrastructure is an addition that our guests have been requesting for a number of years. Comfort and convenience is important, and we hope all of our picnic guests will enjoy having a restroom facility in the picnic grove area," said Scott Crider, vice president of operations.
DelGrosso's also has added some new games on the midway and placed an additional ATM machine at Murf's Kitchen.
Lakemont Park has made a change to one popular event and added some new events for the upcoming season.
Thursday Wing-Offs will begin earlier and run June 6 through July 18 - with the exception of July 4 - and will include barbecued ribs, pork and pulled pork, Vyborny said. Beverage sales will benefit the Lakemont Volunteer Fire Company.
Splash Hops will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays at the Island Waterpark with D.J. Tommy Gunnz playing some of summer's best tunes.
A "Take a Kid to a Car Show" sponsored by the Blair County Antique Auto Club will be held June 30.
"The idea is to introduce the younger kids to the older cars," Vyborny said.
Admission prices are up a dollar at DelGrosso's but will remain the same at Lakemont.
At DelGrosso's, ride and slide passes will be $17.95 in June, July and August and $13.95 in May and September, Mearkle said.
An all-day ride and slide pass at Lakemont remains priced at $9.95 on weekends with special Dollar Day rates of $5 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
"We have not raised our prices in several years. We have tried to keep our prices affordable in these times," Vyborny said.
Both parks' schedules are loaded with special events.
For the first time, the Children's Miracle Network Telethon will be broadcast live from DelGrosso's on June 2.
DelGrosso's free concert series will feature country singer Keith Anderson on Aug. 4. A contemporary Christian concert will feature Lindsay McCaul and Matt Maher on Sept. 1.
Other highlights include Summer Thunder on July 4; the 16th annual Native American Pow Wow on July 20 and 21; the 24th annual Italian Food & Heritage Festival on Sept. 22; and Harvestfest Sept. 28 and 29.
Spaghetti Wednesdays will run from June 5 through Aug. 21.
Lakemont highlights include the 24th annual Kruisin' Hot Rod and Classic Car Show Aug. 10 and the end of the year fall festival Sept. 7 and 8.
For the second consecutive summer, DelGrosso's visitors will be faced with a detour. Anyone going to the park via Interstate 99 will need to take Exit 45 at Grazierville because of a bridge construction project on Business Route 220 between Bellwood and the park.