I've been interested in carnivals and amusement rides since I was child. At the end of each summer the carnival would come to the church across from where we'd live. I'd watch the parking lot turn into the most amazing midway. So when I saw the story about Iowa City selling the City Park train and some other amusement rides I had to learn more about it.

Rides first came to Iowa City's City Park in 1952 according to the Iowa City Parks and Rec web page. Guy and Sue Drollinger owned and operated the rides in the park until they sold them to Iowa City in 1999, and the city has operated them ever since. Sadly, yesterday was the last day to ride them ever. Increasing costs in maintenance and upkeep isn't viable any longer and the city will replace them with a large Adventure playground on the site.

These aren't big time old school carnival rides like The Zipper, The Flying Bobs or the Rock O' Planes. Or even the larger kiddie rides you see at a parking lot carnival. They're very modest, small, classic kiddie rides. The City Park train and flying horses come closest to being something you'd see at an amusement park or a carnival today, probably why the opening bids for these rides is much higher than the other rides.

The airplane ride, the Ferris Wheel and whale rides' opening bids are $1,000 on GovDeals.com. The small rides at this point are actually affordable for someone motivated to restore the rides and bring them back to their former glory. You can learn more about the auction from this article in the Gazette.

I don't know if they'll ever make kids happy again, but I'd like to see them wind up in good hands for restoration. That would make me happy.


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