From the beginning of the organization in 1989 as the Euclid Beach Park Nuts, a memorabilia/remembrance event has always been held close to the end of September near the date Euclid Beach Park closed forever. The first remembrance event was modest, a weekend in Euclid Square Mall's Euclidian Room, watching EBPN's founder David Scott's father's movies of Euclid Beach Park rides; his dad was the park's chief engineer. Individuals displayed their items from the park and former employees shared stories. Like Audrey Jr., the plant from “The Little Shop of Horrors,” there was no stopping the event's growth. Soon it spread into the main part of the now gone mall and received the tag name “Mall Show.” About the time business at the mall started to dwindle, Euclid Beach Park Now was asked to participate in the annual “East 185th Street Festival", setting up under the marquee and entrance of the LaSalle Theater. It was there the naturalist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Cleveland Lakefront State Parks, approached EBPN to ask if some program could be put together and presented at the current Euclid Beach Park. Her thoughts were something simple that could be given in the park's pavilion. EBPN's board of directors discussed the idea and, like the plant from the movie, it grew. When first announced in The Arch, Volume 16, Issue 2, Winter 2005, it was called Things That Aren't There Anymore. The next issue had it as Euclid Beach Remembered and then the issue released just before the event had a full page announcing Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park.
COVID-19 halted the annual EBPN event causing it to be canceled in 2020. EBPN was not sure about 2021 as the Delta Variant caused concern. Checking in and getting input from Cleveland MetroParks and the Cuyahoga County Health Department, the decision was to GO with the event this year.
For all of the sixteen years this outdoor event has been held there has been only one Sunday that was of concern; upon arrival in the morning for setup, cloudy and a look of rain. As setup was going on it was found out there was rain around the park. As the day continued the clouds cleared and any threat of rain ended. Sunday, September, 26, 2021 was sunny with mild temperatures rising to 74 degrees. However, along the bluff overlooking Lake Erie, the wind was very evident especially for three participants setting up canopies for their displays. Northern Ohio Classic Parks representatives Denny and Karen Lane, with Geauga Lake Park memorabilia, had their large canopy up which was then blown over by the wind. They moved further inland from the bluff setting up the exhibit on picnic and folding tables. EBPN's youngest board member Kevin Smith attempted to raise a canopy over his collection of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia, Northeast Ohio Amusement Memories, and decided not to fight the wind. Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society had the same difficulty and then moved to the north side of the walkway, setting up their tables behind Collinwood Engine 999 which greatly helped block the wind. Not affected by the wind was the display from Amusement Preservation Museum. Troy Parsh brought, on trailer, one of the cars from the Raging Wolf Bobs roller coaster that operated at Geauga Lake Park and a ride car from an old log fume.
Clevelanders may best remember Engine 999 from its participation in the many parades in downtown Cleveland and other area cities. The replica of the New York Central Empire Express was built by the New York Central Lines Post No. 999 of The American Legion in the 1930's. The actual Engine 999's claim to fame was being the first vehicle to exceed 100 mph, doing so on May 10, 1893 reaching a speed of 112.5 mph. It was in many Cleveland parades and, as it had a working steam whistle, parade attendees standing along the curb of Euclid Avenue knew it was on its way hearing that loud whistle echoing off the downtown buildings. The replica engine is now in the possession of the Painesville Railroad Museum who drove it to the event no doubt receiving many second looks.
A thank you goes out to Cleveland MetroParks for their assistance in seeing the event take place. Also to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture via a Project Support Grant. Thank you's to Excalibur Auto Body Inc., Great Scott Tavern, and Kramer Printing Company.
Those who set up south of the picnic pavilion fared better with the wind. The pavilion and the trees acted as a windscreen, so the canopies remained standing throughout the day. Just off the parking area was Euclid Beach Park Now's “Welcome” tent. Available were event and EBPN membership information and copies of past newsletters, The Arch. Another shelter was set-up for ride ticket sales for The Rocket Ship Carｮ thanks to The Euclid Beach Boysｮ. Walking toward the picnic pavilion one would come upon Balloons by Blake, a young man in an interesting outfit forming balloon creations for attendees. Blake remained on the south side of the picnic pavilion thus not losing any of his balloon creations to the winds off Lake Erie. Professional photographer Marvin Axelrod was set-up, offering 8 X 10 photographs of carousels and individual figures, amusement parks and park rides, and vintage automobiles. Humphrey Popcorn Balls had its own booth where attendees could purchase the famous Euclid Beach Park treat. The company recently was purchased by the b.a. Sweetie Candy Company. Next to the popcorn was Weber's Premium Custard and Ice Cream, dispensing custard similar to Dippy Whip served at Euclid Beach Park. Rounding out the food offerings was Swensons Food Truck.
JakeWear was selling a variety of Euclid Beach Park graphics on T-Shirts and sweatshirts. Owner Sandy Shoe's graphic design for this year was of the Great American Racing Derby, which celebrated its 100 Anniversary in 2021. Inside the picnic pavilion one could purchase the three Euclid Beach Park DVDs, two band organ CD's or two books on the park, one authored by Euclid Beach Park Now, “Euclid Beach Park,” the other by James A. Toman, “A Euclid Beach Park Album.” Also in the pavilion was “Memory Lane,” Euclid Beach Park items collected and preserved by the late Rudy Nagode who on his passing donated his collection to EBPN. On the north, windy side of the pavilion, was the “Mobile Music Machine” of WIXY 1260 internet radio, returning to the event for another year. In conjunction with the event is the car show, “The Cars We Drove to Euclid Beach.” This year new EBPN board members Mike and Debbie Peppard volunteered to organize the show. Approximately 349 cars and 1 vintage bus participated, parked on the grass around the park's traffic circle overflow into the parking lot.
As in recent years of the event a BIG Thank You goes out to Boy Scout Troop 143 from Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Euclid, OH. With all EBPN board members in senior citizen status the Troop is an invaluable asset helping unload the truck, setting up the canopies, tables and signage and setting out the photo posters throughout the park. At the end of the day the Troop was there again to help with the take-down and truck loading.
Check out the new article for 2022's 3rd Quarter: July, August, & Sept. On THE ARCH page.
EUCLID BEACH AND ME
Reprint of an article that appeared in THE ARCH Euclid Beach Park Now's quarterly newsletter: Volume 17, Issue 4, Summer 2006. Authored by Sandra Wesley; Euclid Beach Park Fan And Euclid Beach Park Now Board Member.
June 10, 2022
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