CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Local parents and children were delighted to hear the news that the family-owned Memphis Kiddie Park will be back open this season.
They recently announced their grand reopening for Memorial Day weekend.
They’re uncovering, assembling and starting up their rides for the first time in 18 long months.
“The little airplanes were a little sluggish, didn’t want to wake up. But after a little taunting, they actually came alive,” Mike Kissell said.
For more than three decades of its long history, Kissell has been the park’s caretaker.
All through the shutdown, he still came, every day, to get the mail and check on the property.
Owner Russell Wintner says he never considered closing for good.
“Because there was no other choice,” he said.
Kissell and his crew are using the weeks leading up to their grand reopening, to give their vintage rides some “TLC.”
“I have faith in these rides. They’re old and all, but we take really good care of them,” he said.
Kissell says their reopening symbolizes light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think opening this place back up is going to give people a sign that normalcy is going to come back,” he said.
And Wintner expects a cautious, but excited crowd when the rides are running again.
“I’ve been getting emails, which I don’t normally get, saying ‘Are you going to open? When are you going to open?’ It’s just interesting to see the enthusiasm and anticipation,” Wintner said.
The staff said they’ve missed the smiling faces of the children, parents and grandparents and they’re looking forward to welcoming them back again soon.