Arnolds Park Amusement Park Spans Generations and Geography
For 130 years, Arnolds Park Amusement Park serves up a summer of fun.
From the historic wooden roller coaster called “The Legend,” to the log ride and midway games.
“I have my three grandkids with me and my daughter.”
Joan Negen visits with her family from Windom, Minnesota.
“They have the rides for the kids close by and benches to sit on!”
Grandma needs a spot to occasionally rest as she keeps up with a lively group.
REPORTER: “And, they enjoy this don’t they?”
Yep, yep they do.”
This amusement park pastime started when Joan Negen was young herself.
“We use to come down here once a year and stay in a cabin down here and spend a week and come to Arnolds Park.”
“Then we came here for a school trip in 1969 when I graduated.”
REPORTER: “How old were you when you first came to the park?”
“I was eight I guess.
REPORTER: What are some of the things you remember when you were eight-years old when you visited this park?”
“The roller skating. I liked the Wild Mouse, the Octopus, the roller coaster.
REPORTER: “The roller coaster is still here and they’re bring the mouse ride back”.
“That’s kind of cool.
“You either loved it or hated it. It was a thrill ride,” said Paul Plumb.
Marketing Director of the park, Paul Plumb says the Wild Mouse ride isn’t the only new attraction, another opens in August.
“They're putting the finishing touches on this Roof Garden project.”
“There’s going to be 13 booths on the street side near the street side. It’s kind of reminiscent of the old Roof Garden.”
“The second Roof Garden was in this location. The original Roof Garden was lakeside, the tent were we do free concerts is where the original Roof Garden was.”
Joan Negen says she remembers the popularity of the Roof Garden when she was a teen.
“I had friends who would go to shows there because their parents would let them go to shows.”
REPORTER: “I take it your parents wouldn’t let you go to shows at the Roof Garden, is that true?”
(LAUGHS) “They didn’t want me to drive that far.”
REPORTER: “And, how far was that?”
“I lived in Tracy, Minnesota and would be a little more than an hour drive.”
Actually, an hour is a short trip considering some employees come from thousands of miles away.
“My name is Asied Dzharimova and I’m from Russia. It’s hard to pronounce even in Russian.”
The 19-year-old is one of sixty students from more than a half dozen countries working this season.
“It’s all so fun talking to kids.”
Asied runs the carousel.
“My granddaughter needs help getting on over there can you help?”
“It’s their opportunity to come to America, learn the English language a little bit better and learn our culture a little better,” said Paul Plumb.
Marketing Director Paul Plumb says the special Visa program helps ease a shortage of employees.
“And, what we have learned is that our culture has gotten better from learning their culture from the different nations that come here,” said Paul Plumb.
“What has been your favorite ride so far?”
As a day of discoveries for Joan Negen, her daughter and grandchildren winds down.
“We had a good day.”
They leave with moments that should last a lifetime or even longer.
REPORTER: “You’re passing along your family tradition aren’t you?”