Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Coal Region Connections: Lakewood Park


The 88 acre park was launched by Richard & Daniel Guinan in 1916. It had everything: huge man-made lake & concrete pool, rides, skating, & picnic area. The Lakewood Ballroom opened in 1925 & hosted great dances, headline entertainment, & even boxing events. The ballroom was destroyed by fire in May, 1998.

Lakewood Park hosted ethnic celebrations including Lithuanian Day, Russian Day, Ukrainian Day, Polish Day, & Grand Irish Jubilee. The popular Bavarian Festival enjoyed a successful 15 year run from 1979 through 1983 & attracted about 1/2 million visitors annually during the peak years of the late 70s. The park was a favorite for business, school, & church outings for decades.

Lakewood Park was also home to the Lakewood Playhouse. It attracted stars from stage & screen from 1949 through 1979 with well-attended summer stock plays.

Unlike many corporate amusement parks, the Guinan family owned & managed the park from 1916 right through its final year in 1984. The decade of the 1980s was not kind to regional amusement parks. Angela Park, Rocky Glen Park, Hanson Amusement Park at Harvey's Lake, & Bushkill's Magic Valley all ceased operations in the 80s.

What do you remember most about Lakewood Park? The rides, ethnic festivals, school/church outings, the bands, boxing matches, dance marathons, the pool? What famous star(s) do you remember seeing at Lakewood?

For more information & Lakewood Park pictures, check out the book "Images of America--Lakewood Park" published by Arcadia Publishing in 2009.

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