The Perfect Place to Share Memories

by Emily Noggle
Posted on October 24, 2023


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For the past eighteen years, Euclid Beach Park Now has hosted Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park in the public park space which was once part of the grounds where a number of the rides and attractions from Euclid Beach Park were located. 

The Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel was one of the rides located there. The public park area was originally under the care of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and is currently managed by the Cleveland Metroparks. The goal of this memory driven event is to transport attendees back in time to experience a visit to the long-closed amusement park.

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This year at Sights and Sounds I had the opportunity to lead both walking tours that were scheduled. It is always a pleasure to share information about the Park and my personal stories with attendees. The bonus for me was all the stories those attending the tours and others I met throughout the day eagerly shared. For some reason this year the subject matter for many of my conversations focused on the special outings and picnics which were held over the years at Euclid Beach. Since many of them occurred year after year, they were nicknamed “Annuals” by the Humphreys. They helped keep the Park bustling, busy, and profitable. These outings were sponsored by area businesses like Richman Brothers and Lincoln Electric, ethnic groups, religious groups, trade unions, professional groups, political organizations, lodges, clubs, schools, and area communities. The Goodyear Picnic and the annual Democratic Steer Roast arguably drew the largest crowds. Keep in mind these were not haphazardly organized events, but highly planned and organized many months in advance. For the working man with a limited budget, these picnics provided very special entertainment for his entire family at little or no cost.

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Piggy-Back Race, image courtesy of John Frato

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Three-legged Race, image courtesy of John Frato

For event organizers, these picnics were an extremely popular way to show their appreciation. An annual outing was much more than access to all of Euclid Beach Park’s amenities; the order of the day might include simple family fun like three-legged races, candy scrambles, sack races, soft ball games, or beauty contests with most winners awarded very nice prizes. Drawings were also held for grand prizes for attendees that ranged from bicycles and televisions to brand new cars. For adults, their visit might include a dance or two in the Dance Pavilion before the evening was over or a concert somewhere on the grounds. Goodyear always planned a full day of fun for their employees. The Park would open at 9 A.M. and stay open until midnight. The rides would not open until 10 A.M. Their employees could enjoy the Park’s many rides and attractions for 14 hours. While these events were extremely well attended, a newspaper article I ran across a few years ago about the annual Goodyear picnic indicated the line of cars entering the Park that year stretched all the way back to Akron. I am sure there was a line down Lake Shore Boulevard and definitely congested traffic, but hardly 30 miles of cars bumper to bumper waiting to get into the parking lot.

One memory several attendees shared with me was going directly from the parking lot to the Log Cabin and impatiently waiting in line to get their credentials for the day with all the rides and attractions a mere arms-length away. Their memories were absolutely correct; the Log Cabin was the headquarters for these picnics.

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Waiting in line at the log cabin, image courtesy of John Frato

Visitors would first walk to the Log Cabin to register, get badges, have their hand stamped, and pick up itinerary. Another person I spoke to rather excitedly told me he still had the Schwinn “Silver Racer” bicycle he won for eating a whole pie the fastest at an East Cleveland Picnic. He also shared he vomited most of it in a location I would prefer not to disclose, but I will give you a hint that it was the most popular aerial ride at Euclid Beach. Two cousins I met brought along their Richman Brothers and Addressograph Multigraph picnic badges and perhaps the highlight of my day was meeting the winner of one of the Richman Brothers beauty contests. All in all a great day of remembering in absolutely the best location possible, the actual grounds where the Park existed.

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Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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