July 18, 2014
Although amusement parks are presumably the last reason tourists vacation in New England, we do have an historic one, Canobie Lake Park, in Salem, New Hampshire.
Opened on August 23, 1902, Canobie Lake Park was originally known as a trolley park for the Massachusetts Northeast Street Railway Company. Throughout its one hundred and twelve summers, the establishment has had three major makeovers. If you were to go back to the park’s early days, it would be unrecognizable. Back then, it was known for its mild attractions and lush flower gardens. During the 1930s to 1950s, a new audience of teenagers and young adults washed through to watch musical acts, such as Guy Lombardo, Duke Ellington, and Frank Sinatra perform at Canobie’s Dance Hall Theater. Today, Canobie is a family friendly spot that features fifty plus rides (thrill, family, kiddie, and water), three arcades, live entertainment, and fireworks.
I dug deep to find these pictures from the Canobie time capsule.
Built the year the park opened, the Antique Carousel is Canobie’s oldest operating ride.
The Yankee Cannonball is a wooden out-and-back roller coaster that was built in 1930 at Lakewood Park in Waterbury, Connecticut and relocated to Canobie in 1936. Don't let its age or speed limit of 35 mph stop you from going on it because it is seriously one of the park’s most iconic and beloved rides. The whole duration of this ride is just one minute but during that time you experience a drop over sixty feet that quickly leads into a 90° right turn! In other words, the Yankee Cannonball is one bumpy ride that will have you laughing and squealing simultaneously.
The newest addition to Canobie is the 2011 Euro-fighter roller coaster, Untamed. I did not go on this ride because its 75-foot, 97° vertical drop scared the shit out of me, as it should all of you.
The two most daring rides I went on were the Canobie Corkscrew and Starblaster.
The Corkscrew, first operated at Canobie in 1987, is one of the first steel-looping roller coasters manufactured in the world and is part of a series of Arrow Dynamic corkscrew models produced from 1975 to 1979. Because I had been on an upside down roller coaster before, the ride didn't overwhelm too much; the two turns were over in a blink.
The Starblaster, on the other hand, was a ride my friend had to dig her fingernails into my arm to drag me along. Shooting twice up the 80-foot tower, this exhilarating ride will have you screaming your head off. Fun fact: the Starblaster opened on the park’s one hundredth anniversary and is also the only double shot in New England.
My other favorite rides at Canobie include the Boston Tea Party, Policy Pond Log Flume, and Xtreme Frisbee.
Warning: the Boston Tea Party (1998) will leave you SOAKED!
The Log Flumes (1982) snaps a picture as you and your party speed down the hill.
The Xtreme Frisbee (2007) has the perfect amount of thrills.
For the non-adrenaline junkies, Canobie also has a waterpark called Castaway Island, twenty-minute boat ride on the lake, chairlift that overlooks the park, magic show and tribute performances to Michael Jackson, Madonna, and One Direction. The Michael Jackson impersonator looked so much like the late King of Pop I thought he came back from the grave!
I would recommend people visit Canobie Lake on a Saturday so they can have their night capped off by the park’s delightful firework display. If you can’t go to Canobie this summer, no need to fear! This fall Canobie will be open for Screemfest, a Halloween extravaganza, and Rocktober, which will have tribute concerts to Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Journey and the Police.
85 N Policy Street
Salem, New Hampshire 03079
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