August 2nd, 2016

krazy koati

I wonder what he thinks of all the human traffic passing far below

So besides Valravn how did Cedar Point look? Rather good, of course. The park hadn't been bad before and a couple years of tidying up the appearance of things has helped it. We noticed that what we always thought was a caricatures-and-sketches stand near the front of the park was now hand-drawn portraits only. There was another, caricatures-only, shop near the back. We're not sure if it's always been that way or if it changed this year.

Walking back from Valravn we heard the Cedar Down racing music from one of the basketball-challenge attractions. It's not music composed for the ride, the fast, racing carousel ride. It's part of a stock music album that we've found in other amusement parks and also as the intro music for Friday Night Fights on Late Show With Stephen Colbert. But bunny_hugger protested it was one step too far to reuse the stock music for something else at Cedar Point. I joked that hey, maybe they've got new music for Cedar Downs.

They hadn't. They had changed the soundtrack for the ride, though. In days gone by the carousel --- with horses that move forward and backward in their row, something none of the other two rides of this type do anymore --- was accompanied by a horse race being called. I never heard it, but bunny_hugger reported it was your classic old-time horse race with an announcer who had that 1930s Radio voice, in a scratchy faded incomprehensible recording. Maybe a decade back they switched to Championship Season, pure music, and she mourned the loss of race calling ever since. And this season race calling was back. A modern recording, reasonably clear in the amusement park noise, plain enough to hear. More, plain enough to identify the race, since they named the horses enough we could remember some. And at the end they called it the greatest upset in Belmont Stakes history. So now we know: the Cedar Downs carousel ride is now accompanied by the call for the 2002 Belmont Stakes. (Sarava won, beating 70-to-1 odds.)

Cedar Point had also brought back the glass-blowing show! At least we think they did. We got to it well after the show had started and did not see them actually blowing glass. They were working it, though, showing how to sculpt glass steins and color them and all that. Cedar Point used to have glassblowing shows, and has long sold glass ornaments. This was the first time in years bunny_hugger had seen them doing a live show, though, and the first time I'd seen the area, part of the kind-of-historical Frontier Trail, putting on a show like that. It wasn't Cedar Point employees directly doing the show. It was some Detroit-area group that holds glassblowing classes. So that's the good side of hipsters, getting ``doing interesting stuff'' back into places.

We looked a long while at some of the glass figures they had after that. They had beautiful dragons for only $250. They had a magnificent sea serpent for about $500. We set them down delicately and walked away. Slowly.

So it was in all a grand day at Cedar Point, one that we kept extending right to the close of the park and a nighttime ride on Millennium Force. We missed one of our old friends, Iron Dragon, because we didn't know how early it would shut down (the nightly Luminosity performance takes priority over it). But it looked to be in good shape, as did the park overall. It should have a good season. We should've made it more in June, but we had stuff going on. For example ...

Trivia: The Bartholdi Inn, opened in 1899 on the upper two floors of the building at 1546 Broadway, was the last major theatrical boarding house in New York City. It closed the 1st of February, 1920, and its furnishings auctioned off the 4th. Source: The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville, Anthony Slide.

Currently Reading: The Sea Fairies, L Frank Baum.