Remembering the Crystal Beach Amusement Park

By Kris Dube / News Editor
July 11, 2014
Remembering the Crystal Beach Amusement Park
Fort Erie historians Rick Doan and Paul Kassay with a car from the Sky Fighter ride. (Bullet News photo by Kris Dube)

FORT ERIE - Most Niagara residents under or around the age of 30 have only vague memories of the Crystal Beach Amusement Park.

It closed in 1989 and marking the 25-year anniversary of the final ride, two Greater Fort Erie history buffs – Paul Kassay and Rick Doan – along with the Crystal Beach Business Improvement Association and the Friends of Crystal Beach – are hosting an event to remember the glory days at the park.

The local historians are calling the event 'Memories Days' and it will be held this Saturday, July 12, at Queen's Circle – the same spot the original park began as a religious camp – according to Kassay and Doan.

On Sunday, the Toronto All-Star Band will perform at Waterfront Park, part of the Friends of Crystal Beach's annual summer concert series.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., several pieces from rides at the park will be on display and other tasty memories like Crystal Beach suckers, sugar waffles and loganberry will be served up.

“There's going to be quite a variety of items here,” said Doan.

One vendor will be selling Christmas tree ornaments – decorated with images from the Comet rollercoaster.

Cars from the Sky Fighter, Wild Mouse and a few others will be on display.

The Sky Fighter car will be for sale, with a price tag of $1,200.

“There's not too much more out there and what is still around – we're bringing it out,” said Doan.

A similar event was held twice in the early 2000s at Waterfront Park. Although it is a much larger space, Both Doan and Kassay agree Queen's Circle is a better venue because of its history – but will also create less concerns when it comes to parking.

In previous years, the local fishing community arrived much earlier than patrons of the Crystal Beach park event – leaving very few spaces.

Kassay and Doan encourage everyone who makes it out on Saturday to travel on foot or park elsewhere in the area.

The event has already been promoted on the Crystal Beach Amusement Park's Facebook page – already generating plenty of enthusiasm.

“We're getting a lot of positive feedback – people are very excited about coming,” said Doan.

Kassay said the support of the CBBIA and FOCB is what makes holding this celebration possible – something he and Doan, along with everyone else involved are grateful for.

“Without their help, I don't know if we would be able to do it,” said Kassay.

Bill Kae, an author who recently published a new book about the park, will also be at the event.

Both Doan and Kassay were contributors to his work.