I am lucky enough to remember the days when Elitches and Lakeside Amusement parks were literally blocks from each other and park hopping was really no big deal. Elitches has moved on down the road but, Lakeside has remained in it's original location since 1908.
Nestled in the city of Lakeside, Colorado, the park was originally named the White City, after the Chicago World's Fair, boasting over 5000 electrical lights on the landmark Tower of Jewels and 100,000 more lights throughout the park.
Early rides at the park included the Shoot-the-Chutes, a splash down water ride, the Scenic Railway, an elevated railway over a mile long, the Velvet Coaster, StarShip 2000, Flight to Mars, a Coney Island Tickler, the Double-Whirl, the Staride, who's skeletel structure is still visible today, and the Cirlce Wave. Lakeside was also home to the Riviera ballroom and the Casino Theater.
Early postcard of the Shoot-the-Chutes ride, with a view of the Front Range in the background.
Lakeside Amusement park has seen a lot of changes over the years, but still maintains the small family friendly atmosphere it has always been famous for. I hadn't been to Lakesdide since I was a kid so, I didn't know what to expect when I took my kids, a few years back, with their free passes from JCPL's Summer Reading program.
Parking was FREE...take that Elitches. The kids were FREE, and it cost me just $10...I repeat $10...for my family of 4 to get into the park for an evening of fun. My daughter rode her very first roller coaster that night, she was TOO short to ride the ones at Elitches but, just right for the best wooden roller coaster in town, the Cyclone.
That night we ended up riding every ride at least twice, the lines were basically non existant, and everywhere we turned we ran into friends from the library. Our family had the BEST time that evening and now the kids look forward to earning their free unlimited rides pass to Lakeside every year!
The Cyclone, built in 1940, still packs a punch
Lakeside Amusement park and the Summer Reading Program have become a summer tradition for my family and our friends, we meet up, ride the rides, make ourselves sick on cotton candy and look forward to next year when we can do it all over again!