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Changes in store as Indiana Beach plans 88th season

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Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster — the Galaxi — is being retired after 42 years.

Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago.

"At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he told the Pharos-Tribune of Logansport. "It's one of those nostalgic rides that people really love. It would have been for some the first roller coaster they ever rode."

Gallagher hinted that the absence left by the Galaxi's retirement won't be felt for long at the park about 95 miles north of Indianapolis.

"Fans and thrill-seekers can rest assured that plans are underway for a new thrill [ride] coming in 2015," he said.

Now the vice president of marketing for Indiana Beach, Hurd said while the park is losing a longstanding attraction, he looks forward to the seven new ones being introduced as the park begins its 88th season next month.

The rides are designed for the young to the old in fashions from classic to modern. For instance, the new Grand Carousel is expected to be a draw for all ages seeking an amusement-park tradition that has lasted more than a century, while the Viper and its 2,000 flashing lights will cater to the more adventurous as it whirls over the park's boardwalk. Additionally, the Pumpkin Ferris Wheel will let riders enter a carved-out squash that will rotate them to heights providing views across the park.

There will be four new additions to Kiddyland as well. Pilots will operate their own biplane on the Baby Baron, rising and falling at their own command.

Hurd describes the colorful Dragon Wagon, with its lead car designed in the shape of the mythical creature bearing its name, as an "entry level for children to get their first taste of a coaster."

"Hopefully they'll get the coaster bug and want to come back and back," he continued, "and as they increase their bravery — try some of our other coaster rides we have at the beach too."

The Growler is "kind of a teacup ride on steroids," Hurd said, allowing riders to spin at a 20-degree angle 7 1/2 feet in the air all while engaging in twists and turns.

Then there is the Rockin' Tug, a tugboat-inspired ride providing the sensation of ocean waves as it gently spins, dips and peaks.

Bob Gallagher, president of Indiana Beach, stated in a press release he is looking forward to the addition of the seven new rides this summer.

"We are excited to introduce these new attractions in 2014," he said. "They add something fresh and fun for the families who visit year after year and we hope they will be a draw for others considering a family vacation to Indiana Beach."

Guests staying at the campground will notice three new air-conditioned trolleys resembling old-fashioned San Francisco cable cars to transport them to the park as well.

This year's harsher-than-average winter has pushed the park's opening date back to May 23.

"This winter has really taken a toll on our crews to ready the park for our opening," Gallagher. "Also, with the area schools extending their school year, that impacts the available workforce within the park. It's unfortunate we had to change the opening date, but we want to make sure when we open we are ready to provide our guests with a great experience."

Extra days and operating hours in August and September have been added to the park's schedule because of the delayed opening. A full calendar of the park's operating hours is available at indianabeach.com.

Opening weekend will be celebrated with performances by area high school bands and by admitting military members, law enforcement members, firefighters and EMTs along with a guest into the park for free, Hurd said.

Despite the delayed opening, the park's traditional Mother's Day Lunch will still be held May 11 in the Skyroom Restaurant at the park as well.

Various tribute bands are scheduled to perform at the park throughout the summer to relive what Hurd calls "the glory days" when the park was "a mecca for big-name entertainment." He went on to recall acts like The Beach Boys, Chicago, Sonny and Cher and Janis Joplin.

"If the walls in the ballroom could speak, it would be just amazing," Hurd said.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

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