ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — The iconic Arnolds Park Amusement Park is nearing the end of a $15 million makeover. As a part of the project, the old pavilion building, also called the Roof Garden, was torn down. The new structure just being finalized is designed to appear as the original Roof Garden.
The new building will host rock and pop acts, which played in the original Roof Garden. The first concert will see Tommy James and the Shondels on August 2. They will be followed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Head East.
“Made it to look like the old Roof Garden many people remember sitting lakeside,” said Paul Plum, the Arnolds Park marketing director. “Where the second flood would have been, we’ll display memorabilia drum sets, clothes that people wore who went to the original Roof Garden.”
The Great Lakes Maritime Museum was expanded to include more Arnolds Park History, including the Giant Slide and Barrell Ride.
Also in a new space with a new look is the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. They will hold a ribbon cutting in their new setting next Thursday.
The park is also adding a new roller coaster and a new carousel.
In the late 90s there was a proposal to tear down the amusement park and build a condominium. The community rallied and the park was saved.
“But people who lived here, and those who came here when they were kids, know that it’s just a very special place,” said Plum.
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