It’s an honor to be featured in this month’s “Community Spotlight” section of the City of San Jose’s, District 3 Newsletter!
It turns out – quite a few people didn’t know about the origins of Luna Park, including the City Council!
Full text, here:
Kris Rowberry: The Lost Park of San Jose
“Great American Thrills” is a web video series that follows amusement park connoisseur, Kris Rowberry, as he hunts down the original sites and memories of Northern California’s 24 bygone amusement parks.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the amusement parks I’ve visited,” said Rowberry. “This series is truly a journey back in time.”
Joining Rowberry on his journey is the Assistant Regional Representative for the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Northern California, Nicholas Laschkewitsch. He also serves as the show’s cameraman and producer.
“One of ACE’s missions is to promote the importance of preservation of both roller coasters and amusement parks,” said Laschkewitsch. “I hope the ‘Lost Parks’ series will do just that.”
Through their research, done mostly the old fashioned way in the King Library, both Rowberry and Laschkewitsch have stumbled upon countless, incredible stories about Luna Park.
“To find out that San Jose, not San Francisco, had the first pro baseball team in the Bay Area was a real shock,” said Rowberry. “Luna was built as an entertainment complex – amusement park and baseball stadium. It puts the whole territorial rights issue today in a whole new light. Plus, from the descriptions, it sounds like it was theplace to be for fireworks on the 4th of July.”
So how did he come across such an obscure piece of San Jose’s history?
“It honestly just came as inspiration driving through the Luna Park Business District and seeing all the banners,” said Rowberry. When I saw the carousel horse on one of them, I knew there had to be an amusement park here at some point. That’s the real impetus for wanting to highlight this park – well that and I lived in San Jose for nearly 26 years and never knew about it.”
Thank you Kris for bringing back the memory of Luna Park and a piece San Jose history!
Learn about Luna Park for yourself, here:
KGO 810 AM here in the Bay Area interviewed me this past Friday on the “Lost Parks” series. Hopefully, it’s the start of people discovering my little series!
For those who missed it – check it out!
Ah yes, the summer heat will soon be upon us. But you won’t find me on many water rides…
Why, you ask? Well, because there’s water involved!
An old acquaintance of mine used to judge water rides based on a single factor: whether or not they had an “acceptable amount of water” that you would be taking with you (via your clothes) through the exit.
I laughed at him at first, but then realized that he was absolutely correct. Water rides with purpose-built soaking devices are just, well – not entertaining to me! (We’re talking waterfalls etc., here, by the way)
If you have to wear a poncho (which you’ll rarely see outside of Japan and Islands of Adventure), then it’s already defeated the purpose.
Going on a log ride is about the challenge, the risk of getting wet. Getting soaked with certainty is certainly no fun! Where’s the surprise? How will I drive home still smelling of chlorine and making that creepy “squish” sound?!?
So enjoy then, our next segment – this time on the double life I live when it comes to water rides. Not fun to ride, but oh so much fun to interact with…