It’s not too early to hit the rides at Camden Park.
The park has been open on weekends since the first weekend of the month from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and also will be open those hours on May 27, 29 and 30. On May 31, the park will open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. before breaking into a regular summer schedule.
Already this month, the park offered children a special weekend activity with two days focusing on local history and culture, part of its May School Days propgramming.
West Virginia Natural Science will be the topic Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, when students will have the chance to be up close to the unique flora and fauna of the area, including lizards, insects, foliage and mammals and learn about their way of life and their impact on the ecosystem.
Physics and Amusement Park Rides will be explored May 22 and 23 when students learn how basic rules of physics apply at the park and help create the experience on the ride they love.
Camden Park has 29 rides.
Children’s rides include the historic carousel, handcars, Kiddie Whip, Kiddie boats, Kiddie rockets, the Umbrella ride and pony carts.
Older children will enjoy the Paratrooper, the Haunted House, the train, the Kite Flyer, the Flying Scooter, Tilt a Whirl and others.
The Big Dipper, the log flume and the Dodge ’em cars, traditionally the most popular rides, might face a challenge this year.
Perhaps the highlight of the season will be the opening of a new ride: the Rattler. A pendulum ride, those with the nerve to try it hang from an overhead axis and fly head over heels in swinging and spinning motions. The Rattler can handle 16 riders.
Last year’s new addition was the Rockin’ Tug, a sternwheeler that rocks back and forth and spins in a circle. The ride was designed by Zamperla Rides of Vicenza, Italy, especially for Camden Park.
Camden Park, the only amusement park in West Virginia, began like many large town’s amusement parks; it was a carousel at the end of a trolley line and was turned into an amusement park to boost weekend traffic. Camden Park became a full-fledged amusement park in 1950.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.