So today I bring you a bit of a surprise, Kiddie Park in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Kiddie Park has been around since 1947 and is located inside Johnstone Park. Bartlesville is home to Conoco Phillips and the Frank Phillips Home. The town is also home to the Frank Loyd Wright designed Price Tower located in downtown Bartlesville.
Parking for Kiddie Park is available along the roadside or anywhere you can find a spot. The park is geared toward, you guessed it, kiddies with a nice collection of old school rides with some dating back to the parks inception. Rides tickets are only .25 each with most rides requiring two tickets. Park admission is free. The park's coaster, Little Fire Ball, required two tickets for three laps. I highly doubt you will find a cheaper credit out there other than maybe free.
On this Saturday, the 21st of May 2011, the park was packed with a line of 50+ people waiting to buy tickets. With mom being a school teacher, she asked to go along to see the park. Her last visit was many many years ago and she swears I rode the coaster, but I didn't remember it. So, for good measure, I had to travel back to ride it. Mom became my ride ticket flash pass standing in line about 15 minutes to purchase the two ride tickets while I took the photos below.
Overall this a a great small community park thats low stress and easy going. All of the rides are sponsored by local business. The park itself is operated by the Bartlesvillle Playground Association and hires several local youths to operate the rides. Some rides had four ride operators!
So if you are in the area, stop by, grab a cheap snack and a cheap credit!
Welcome to Kiddie Park! Where "the" last train ride is free!
The water got THIS high.
One of the directional signs.
and the other one.
We will start off over here with this contraption.
And a close up of the ride vehicle.
Swing batter batter, swing. This was an odd setup. Ride op sets a timer, turns on the power, then presses a green button, releases the brake, then gives the ship a swing to get it started. The kicker was he couldn't take his finger off that green button!
Now this is old school.
I'm talking vintage.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Nope, a real turtle ride!
This is where you buy your tickets and junk food. They also had a candy store located in the train station.
They also had some old school planes
But they were not going to fly today.
Air traffic control must have been asleep
A caged spinning ride thingy. Even the older kids were riding it.
The line for tickets.
Swings, with ride op standing in the middle!
Mini Bumper Cars!
Which was sponsored by a good doc.
Something tells me there will be no NASA staged lunar landings today.
I thought this painting thingy was cool. It showed off the town and what it's all about.
A Jeff Johnson Credit?
Wooden horses that go in circles.
Ok, so here it is, the original ride sign. Yes, I know, it says Little Dipper. It's real name apparently is Fire Ball, because that's what's written on the train.
The Station. Notice the wood brakes.
They were squeeze brakes.
The Train in Station
The on ride photo
Yes, I took the kiddie coaster in the rear. A fellow enthusiast was proud of me for whoring it out in the rear.
The on ride photo.
The business end.
Board here for the last ride of the night.
Train parks here.
The Train, duh!
The Train Cars, duh!
Wooden horses running in circles at night.
So, you didn't believe me that this park was packed, well, here is some proof!
So there you have it, a visit to a real Kiddie Park!
Great to see how Kiddie Park is doing these days. Even though I've lived in Bartlesville for 20 years, I haven't been by there in forever. It looks pretty much the same as it did when I went there as a tyke with a couple of small additions. They've done a tremendous job keeping the place in good shape.
The fact that a little park like this can get such huge crowds in a town like Bartlesville is proof that there is a real demand for quality community-sized parks like this. I keep saying more cities should get their own kiddie parks.
By the way, the coaster has always been called the Little Dipper. That train is new and was custom built for free by a local collision repair company in town. I believe they're calling the train itself 'Little Fire Ball' and the coaster is still Little Dipper, from what I can tell.
So what many people do not know is that Oklahoma is the unofficial Festival and Carnevil capital of America. We hold strawberry festivals, corn festivals, tubuli festivals, carnevils just for the heck of it, and one I was unaware of until just a few weeks ago, the Italian Festival located held at the county fairgrounds in McAlester and Held on May 21 and 22. So, just where is McAlester you ask? Well, its about 90 miles South of Tulsa off of Interstate 75 and is home of the maximum security Oklahoma State Penitentiary and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. Yes, I know, very exciting.
The nearby town of Krebs, Ok it known as Oklahoma's Little Italy, hence the reason I am in town, for the annual Italian Festival that hosts a small midway, an Italian dinner, and a place to buy crap.
So, here we go.
I'll start off with the midway. Tickets were $1 each with most rides in the 4 ticket range. I will say, this midway was the flagship for backyard attractions.
They had several kiddie rides.
This thing, still not sure what it was.
I'm not lying folks, backyard attractions here.
Swing and a Scrambla
And of course, a Credz! For those that don't know, I spotted this traveling coaster, literally traveling down the highway coming back from NTAG bash and snapped a picture for my FB. Credit Stalking? You bet!
So here it is traveling up hwy 69, yes, 69.
Notice the trailer from the pic above? As soon as I saw it, I had to text the person whom called me a credit stalker to tell her of my good fortune!
Sadly tho, I was unable to ride, and felt just a tad creepy, and, quite honestly scared to ask a bunch of rednecks if I could ride with their 3 year old. So taking the walk of shame, and very much disappointing my fellow creho, I held my head low and walked towards the food.
You can't have an Italian Festival without the Gelato!
or BBQ? hmmm, Italian BBQ, no thanks.
I will go here, where you pay $10 for a huge portion sausage and balls complete with a drink.
The sauce was some of the best I've had, the sausage was bland, but the balls were good! The penne pasta with olive oil, garlic, and olives, which was served warm, is something I could eat all the time!
Behind the tent, you could bounce around.
Or play some paint ball
Finally, being a small town, they also include a place to buy crap, but wait a minute, is that what I think it is?
NOOOOOO!!! ACE's have infiltrated the Italian Festival!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!
Anyway, there you have it, one of many small town Oklahoma Carnevil/Festivals.
So it was off to worlds of fun for opening night of Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights (June 3, 2011). Three rides were down today, two of which have been down since opening weekend. The Skyliner and Thunderhawk. The Zulu was also down for what appeared a catastrophic failure in the lifting area.
From last visit, the park has done a good job of getting things back to normal after the winter storms, re-sealing the asphalt and cleaning up the crumbling bits, and have installed a number of new plants and shrubs. Patriot by far had the best ride crew with the train slowing to a crawl many times on the lift waiting for the one on course to clear the brake run. Prowler was down for a good bit, but once up, had minimal lines. The Prowler crew was quite friendly as were the F&B staff. Breaking this down in to multiple 10 picture segments to try and cut down on load time.
Welcome to World Of Trashcan. Whoa. Wait a minute. Only ONE trashcan within eye site? Somethings not right.
Ahhh, that's better :)
Getting their landscaping in place for the season.
So why not hit up one of their star attractions.
They did an absolute wonderful job on the restoration.
Patriot doing it's thing. Best ride crew of the park on June 3rd
Still here. Still selling like mad.
Lets see, over to Timberwolf. There's one, one train.
Two, two trains!
Me after taking it in the rear. OUCH! (Actually, it's not THAT bad)
What do we have here. Well, it's a gondola. For Thunderhawk. And it's been moved since last visit.
The gondola is supposed to go up there. They look like they are doing a major rehab on the ride. The back plates are off the seats, all the cabling and whatnot is exposed, but only visible from Timber Wolf.
For you ride plate people.
And for you control panel nerds.
With Thunderhawk down, this area of the park is dead.
They done a really nice job on this area of the park. A much needed addition for sure. I just wonder when they will re-do the worm and motorcycle spinny something another ride by the worm.
And finally before we move on, how about some dog food bowls.
Bye Snoopy! Time to travel the Nile.
The giant scree is gone giving one better angles of which to take pictures of Mamba. However, they have poured a fresh concrete pad making me think they are putting in a stage of some sorts. Personally, I wished they just take all of this out and put in a Screamin Swing
Time for the Nile.
Last edited by chadster on Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:00 am.
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