Larry and Jerry Winship and Jim Howard in 1958

This recording was made in a booth in 1958.  

 

“…Fairyland Park was an amusement park, located at 7501 Prospect Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. The park operated from 1923 to 1977, at which time it was closed due to lack of attendance to the park and storm damage in late 1977.
Marcia Brancato Accurso’s grandfather, Salvatore “Sam” Brancato, a Sicilian immigrant and blacksmith by trade, came to the United States in 1896. After settling in Kansas City, he went into the grocery business, then began buying up real estate. He opened Fairyland Park in 1923.[1] It would be in the family until its closing in 1977. A year after “Sam”s passing in 1976. Admission to blacks was only to private groups and employees, until 1964. After protest marches, demonstrations and arrests for blocking the entrance, was general admission not segregated. Admission cost to the park was kept low (25 cents by 1971).[2] A storm in late 1977, which by some accounts was ‘a wind storm’, and by others ‘a tornado’, caused extensive damage to the park. This, combined with the nearby park Worlds of Fun caused the venerable park to shutter for good.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Fairyland boasted 3 roller coasters, an 8 story Ferris wheel(which was bent in half durina g tornado), a swimming pool(double Olympic size)(closed in late 50’s), bumper cars, a shooting range, and even a petting zoo at one time. “Sam” loved children smiling, and bought the “Kiddeland” at 85th & Wornall, moving the rides to Fairyland. Fairyland and its owners tried a number of gimmicks throughout their later days trying to compete with the newer and shinier Worlds of Fun built in 1972. Summer Jams included REO, Dr. Hook, Blue Oyster cult, Charlie Daniels, and many others in the final summers. In 1967 arsonist failed to burn the wooden rollercoaster, The Brancato family commissioned the construction of a new roller coaster, The Wildcat, in 1967. It would not be enough. The Wildcat was the park’s biggest ride, and helped the park stay competitive. Other promotions included advertising saying “Where “Fun” is Still Affordable”, keeping their admission at fifty cents while Worlds of Fun was charging five dollars, in addition to parking.
With attendance dwindling, the park suffered major storm damage in the winter of 1977–1978, and never re-opened. Whether or not the park really was damaged was always questioned, with some believing the park was just deciding to shut down and needing a reason. The Brancato family tried unsuccessfully to redevelop The Fairyland parcel as many things after the park closed, a swap meet and a zoo were mentioned. But in the end, the park would never again entertain guests…”  From Wikipedia

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