Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
For Immediate Release
Kids splashing happily among the water slides and fountains probably haven't a clue that they are enjoying a park where Great-Grandpa might have cooled off in the summer 100 years ago.
Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, is celebrating its centennial as a New England treasure, one of only 11 remaining "trolley parks" in the United States. For 71 of those years it has been owned by the same family, an equally remarkable record.
Quassy is short for Lake Quassapaug, the lake that has provided cooling summer swimming and boating for generations. Once there were 1000 such parks, owned and operated by electrified rail lines. But while patrons may arrive in sedans and mini-vans instead of taking the 1908 15-cent trolley ride from Waterbury, youngsters and their families are still having fun at this classic park.
Some of the features of today's park would surely amaze the early visitors. This summer's celebration ushers in a new thrill ride, the Galleon Pirate Ship. Suspended from a giant pendulum swinging 30 feet into the air, the Galleon will seat up to 33 shipmates during a wild voyage as the vessel soars high above the midway. Also new this year is the Fun Slide, a three-lane family slide featuring 100-foot fiberglass chutes and gentle humps for a fast and fantastic experience.
The Saturation Station water park, added in 2003 and still expanding, was the first interactive family water play area of its type in the world. Its cascading fountains, water cannons, water slides and huge tipping bucket provide over 30 ways to get wet, fun that all ages can enjoy together.
But some things have not changed at Quassy. An old-fashioned feel has been lovingly preserved at this 20-acre lakeside park. The Quassy Queen II still offers rides on the lake and some of the early buildings still stand, creating an atmosphere of period charm. The laid-back ambience, reasonable prices and lack of lines and crowds is a pleasant alternative to mega-size theme parks. There is no admission fee, so adults can come in with their children without paying and watch the kids ride classics like the Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars and the Grand Carousel. Friday night quarter nights are a long-time happy tradition, with all rides just 25 cents. Guests can purchase individual ride tickets, pay a separate fee for just the water park and beach, or enjoy an all-day wristband for the whole park.
Quassy Amusement Park opens for weekends starting April 26 and will be open daily from June 20 to September 1. Weekend operations will continue in September and through October 5. The Saturation Station and beach are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
SEASON 162 for LAKE COMPOUNCE FAMILY THEME PARK
Quassy isn't the only historic park in the Litchfield Hills. Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, America's oldest continuously operating amusement park and the state's largest water park, opens for its 162nd consecutive season on Saturday, May 10. The park has had a series of upgrades during the off-season, including re-tracking for its famous wooden roller coaster, Boulder Dash, and larger cars that mean shorter wait times for the popular Ghost Hunt Ride.
Lake Compounce will be open on weekends from May 10 until it begins daily operation from June 15th through August 22nd. A weekend schedule resumes through September 28th, with the annual Haunted Graveyard beginning October 3rd.
For more information on family fun and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging and dining and other regional attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506 or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.