A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ludlow Lagoon Fest celebrates once-grand, former NKy park icon, famous throughout Midwest

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By Ruth Bamberger
Ludlow Historic Society

At the turn of the 20th century, the Ludlow Lagoon Amusement Park in the Sleepy Hollow Road area was a premier entertainment venue not just in Greater Cincinnati, but in the Midwest as well.

The Park featured an 85-acre lake with a boathouse and beaches, a fashionable clubhouse, theater, popular rides of the day, and a Motordome for motorcycle racing.

Thousands of people flocked to the Park just as they did later to Coney Island and King’s Island. Tragically the Park, opened in 1895, folded in 1917 after a deadly Motordome disaster, a flood and tornado that leveled many of the buildings and rides.

To observe the 100th anniversary of the closing of the Lagoon Park, the Ludlow Historic Society is sponsoring a Lagoon Fest on Saturday, October 21, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the 800 block of Elm St. near the site of the Park.

Activities will include morning and afternoon walking tours of the Park site, talks by local experts on the history of the Park and its impact on the city, a documentary “A Ride Through Ludlow Lagoon,” historic displays, and lots of music, food, beer, and spirits throughout the day.

Walking Tours ($5) will begin from the Senior Center at 9 a.m. and at 4:30 p.m.

Lectures ($10) will be held in the Senior Center at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.. The 1 p.m. documentary in the Senior Center and displays in the K of C are free.

Tickets can be purchased at the Senior Center on the day of the event or by e-mailing
ludlowhistoricsociety@gmail.org or calling Brenda Boone at 859-992-0223.

With the exception of a few old time residents, most people in the Cincinnati area never heard of the Ludlow Lagoon. Yet at the turn of the last century, it was the “in” place to be during the summer months.

The Ludlow Historic Society hopes the Lagoon Fest will be a fun educational way to bring this piece of history back to life.

Please see the NKyTribune’s Our Rich History column about the Lagoon.

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