Jump to content

4th of July Weekend


Recommended Posts

Since the 4th of July fell on a Saturday this year it gave us a great opportunity to come to Cincinnati for a longer stay than we normally do so we decided to do some parks that we have wanted to do again or to visit for the first time. I had learned that Coney Island was having there annual Balloon glow and Firework show on the 3rd and Strickers Grove would be open on the 4th to the public, so our visit would center around those two parks. We left out of Indy about 11AM on Friday the 3rd and stopped about half way for a bite to eat then arrived at the Marriot Rivercenter on the banks of the Ohio river for our hotel destination.


We put a bid in for $60.00 for a four start hotel on Priceline and it was accepted for the Marriot, which was running cheaper than many 2-2.5 star motels were running for that weekend..


We have actually stayed at the Marriot Rivercenter once before when Miss Rae was about 3 weeks old. The rooms there are warm and spacious and the windows bow out to give a better view outside.


We quickly put our things away and headed to Coney Island. As we arrived they told us we needed to either park down by River bend or the lot across the street which just opened up about 3:30 PM. The last time we attended this event at Coney Island it took us over an hour to get out of the lot so I decided try the lot across the street and parked right up against the fence close to an exit. As we walked in we were awe struck with the beauty of lake Como and noticed many water crafts navigating her beauty.


At this point the pyrotechnicians fired of a test firework and I noticed where they were set up us on the bank of Lake Como and directly across the street from were we parked. I told the family that at 9:30 we should head back to the van and watch from there as it seemed to be the closest spot for the fireworks.

Started walking inside the park by the lake and the first attraction we cam to was the Ferris Wheel.


The ride operator there was the nicest ride operator and took the time to tell us were we needed to go go get our ride wristbands. In a brief discussion with Robbie he said he was supposed to be off at 4 but it look like they where going to hold him over to help out, such a devoted employee (unlike others who I have heard bragging about getting the day off). We quickly got our ride wristbands and started to ride many rides before the lines started to grow, like Python and Trabant



Bumper Boats, The Giant Slide (which ended up being two of my favorite attractions).


Then many other spinning rides that started to turn us green from spinning like Tempest.


Miss Rae begged me to take her on her first upside down ride of Rock-O-Plane


We decided to slow things down a bit to so that we could soak in some of Coney Island unique agenda of 4th of July activities. So we listened to the Anderson Township Symphony Orchestra.


and also took some time to listen to the Cincinnati Bearcat Band Jazz Ensemble.

The Balloons started to set up and fill with air


It was shortly after seven and the crowds had really picked up so we just settled in to enjoy the atmosphere. Talking about atmosphere at Coney Island celebrating this countries Independence they offer Rides.


Live Lady Liberty


Special live local musical talent




Specialty treats to satisfy anyones tastes


and Big Balloon Night Glow.


One Thing for certain, when it comes to Independence Day celebrations "Coney Has It"

Additionally to all that above Coney Island offers a huge firework display. Since it was getting close to 10PM we decided to head back to the van to watch the fireworks there as I said earlier the van was right across the street form the firework launch firing stage. Below will give you an idea of how close we where to the show.


The show started and I took some pictures but the power lines got in the pictures.


I tried to zoom in to get around the power lines but it was hard to get the placement and it was a bit to close.


So I just took what I could with even if the power lines got in the way.




I must say that in forty years of my life I have never been so close to the action as I was and when the firework grand finale started I felt like I was in the show I mean from the ground up and to both sides of my sight the fireworks were exploding and I was absolutely completely flabbergasted as what I just witnessed. Awesomeness. I have many, many more Coney Island firework pictures if anyone what to see more let me know. Within 5 minutes from the end of the firework show we were back on the hiway heading back to the hotel but along the way we got to witness the Great American Ballpark fireworks over the Ohio river. We got back to the hotel and got ready for bed and I must say the bed at Marriot was the best I have ever slept in and for the price I was very pleased.


The next day we slept in till 7:30, ate breakfast and went swimming, I played with the underwater camera again.


Sorry cheep KICentral plug for all my friends at KICentral kkep up the great work!

After check out we decided to take a walk along the river and found a path that had history murals painted on the flood walls.


My favorite


Miss Rae liked the idea of Kentucky on one side and Ohio on the other side of the river, so we decided to walk from Kentucky to Ohio and back.


With one last look of the Cincinnati downtown skyline from the Marriot we decided to head out.


We had a bit of time to kill so we stopped and had lunch at Perkins and they have a wonderful flatbread menu.


When we arrived at Strickers Grove they said they would remain open all day and evening as long as there where no storms with lightning.


The park was pretty much empty when the rides opened.


I rode many rides with the family like Teddy Bear


We also rode Tilt-a-Whirl and Top Spin


I do not like to marathon spinning rides but Miss Rae rode both of those two about 20 times with about 8 of them in a row.

I ran into (literally) DaretoFly and The Beast Rider at the Tornado and rode several times with them. Then boddaH1994 showed up and started to ride with us. We headed over to ride the fling planes and boddaH1994 gave us a demonstration on how to fly them.

Then we all got on board and took a very interesting flight. We took a group shot of KICentral members that we knew was there and them some departed for the day.


BoddaH1994, Pat and I went to the picnic shelter to have some conversation, the smoke from the grill of roasting corn keep lofting into the shelter that it made us hungry.


So we got a plate of food . $5.25 for a cheeseburger, potato salad, chips and roasted corn on the cob. WOW!!! Really!!!

At 7PM we all decided to go so we said our good byes and headed out. On the way home we all decides that this trip really hit the spot for us as we did some old and new things. We decided we want to go back to Coney more often and to Stickers Grove only if the mood hits us to do so but where really glad we went and rode in the rain on the 4th of July. Meeting old and new friends is always a highlight for me, also I got to spend some great quality family time that, which was much in need.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day and hope you enjoyed the report. Avatar/Jesse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran into (literally) DaretoFly and FanofBeast at the Tornado and rode several times with them.

Actually you literally ran into dare-to-fly and The Beast Rider.

It was fun to hang out with you for a little while in one of my favorite parks. It's also worth mentioning, how many coasters can you stand next to and actually hear the upstop wheels hit the track from 200 feet away? "The cliff" is my favorite spot on the ride.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report Jess.That Marriott looks very familiar(considering I work right across the street from it :lol: ).I had thought about going to Stricker's Grove yetserday,but the lousy weather detered me.Hopefully I'll be going in August.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report Jesee! I can't believe how big Miss Rae is getting and I agree with you, when it comes to Independence Day celebrations...Coney simply can not be beat in this area. Strickers is a great little park and I loved your photos from along the river. Nice photos of the beautiful Roebling bridge!

I've seen Robbie at Coney a few times, definitely a great employee.

P.S. Exactly who is that referring to about others boasting to have the day off? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Avatar - thanks for sharing. The photos you take and add to your trip reports really help tell the story and share the feeling of your trip. I'll need to go check out the flood wall murals - sometimes its crazy that you can live somewhere for so long and not know about some of the "hidden gems".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jesse I meant to ask if Miss Rae is becoming more of a thrillseeker? Do you think you will be able to get her on some of the larger attractions at Universal and Busch on vacation this year? Zoe just hit the 36 inch mark and had her first true thrill rides over the 4th of July weekend at Silver Dollar City, proud day in this papas life, Zoe and SDC PTR

Thanks again for sharing...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That wasn't nearly as intense as my first ride on their flying scooters. Had to tame it down a little when I got yelled at for "scaring" the ride op. ha ha

Since you mention intense flying scooter rides, as I was surfing the web, I came across the following website: http://www.flyeraddicts.com/index.php

It doesn't look very active, but has some great info on scooters and a very interesting photo history/tribute to the Flying Eagles last rides. I apologize if this info is well known/available elsewhere, but it was the first time I came across it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice how you got the Marriott RiverCenter for $60 through Priceline. I've used the 'Name Your Own Price' several times in the past, and gotten NICE places for the fraction of the published rates. Many of the hotels I've gotten through Priceline were in walking distance to area attractions and to transit stations - especially in DC and Chicago. Some of my friends thought I was crazy. An awesome place to start is with biddingfortravel.com, to get tips on how to bid, and see what successful bids there were, and what hotels they got.

I think my best find using Priceline was the Omni Shoreham Hotel in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington DC, 2 years ago. $65/night for this historic 4-star hotel, within a block from the Metro escalators, in a great area with local and chain restaurants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad ya had a great time and It was nice meeting ya!...Too bad it was too cold to warm up to the flyers

There's no such thing as too cold for rides.

Flyer, who was on Kentucky Rumbler 30x on New Years Eve with the temperature in the low 20s at best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for reading and the nice comments, I am sorry I have not responded sooner to some of your responses and questions. I did the report late Sunday night then work a long Monday as I knew the next two days would be extremely long days, so if I waited to post the report I would just now be getting to it, besides I knew I would need to add a response to a trip to KI on Tuesday plus do a reort on my day on Wednesday.

Dare to fly thanks for the correction, I changed it and I will not let that mistake happen any more. Also it was really nice to see you in action Tuesday night.

BoddaH1994 – first off I was pleasantly surprised to see you show up and enjoy it very much when you do. Yeah you had your plan hiting the ground over and over and I was amazed. I thought it would be easy to do but I learned that takes some skill and practice to accomplish what you did. I bow to your flying plan talent.

StalkerChick – thanks it was nice and really it was the right trip at the right time for us, the rain was OK not hard plus it adds to our memory.

Gordon Bombay – Miss Rae is maturing fester than she is growing for her age anyway, but yeah she has grown a lot since I first started posting. Oh you caught that about referring to work ethics well maybe it was you maybe it wasn't, I'll never tell but if you ask me somebody sounds a little guilty.

Standbyme – Dave – Kifan thanks for the comments I just used a tri-pod to shot the fireworks with a standard point and shot camera, the murals took me by surprise as how well they were done. If you look closly you should be able to tell that the wall is flat and the brick border is painted on as well. If you have not walked it you should really make the time it is worth the effort trust me.

Dane – Sorry I missed you but hey if it was spending time with you in the rain or hanging out on a boat I would pick ….....

RailRider - thanks About the larger rides she is fickle, one day yes next day no. Miss Rae is just now hitting 51 inches at 9 years old so she is shorter for her age, which suits her just fine. If you know what I mean.

CoasterNSich thanks for the tips, they will come in handy especially when we try to hit DC/Annapolis in the next few years. I will just add I have not seen you since the commercial shoot a few years back, I hope our paths cross again sometime soon.

DegenRider – you bet one of my favorte activities a=is meeting fellow members and sharing stories. Well the way you and Ryan where going I am glad it was not warmer or you guys would have destroyed the ride. LOL

Diamodback FOF thanks – I was just trying the firework setting on a newer camera and used a tripod. I learned it is best to shot individual firework in that setting to keep the shutter open longer and to get the whole firework display like


and sometimes multiple fireworks work in the shot but not always. See how thay stack over each other here.


And the Grand Finale should be shot in regular mode/speed as leaving the shutter open that long makes for a big white fireball.


So back home at I tried it again during the finale but further away, a bit better but not as good as I would like to see so I decided for memory sakes a video is best for Grand Finale's. The last half of my hometown fireworks.

If anyone is interested in seeing all the pictures of the weekend full of Hot Air Balloons and Fireworks of all kinds feel free to visit my Phanfare album


Thanks again everyone for you comments, I got a lot of joy reading them while I was on the road the past few days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am glad that you and your family had a fun time at Coney on the 3rd of July. It was nice seeing you, even if I didn`t have a chance to meet up with you. You`ll have to come back sometime when its not as busy when I can actually meet up and ride some rides with you! July 3rd is always a fun, but very busy day at Coney.

I have to admit, that I was not needed immediately for late shift on the 3rd (and actually rode several rides with fellow coworkers who were also off for late shift). But I did stick around and helped cut lines at closing time, and then helped clean the park after the crowds had left. My car was stuck in the throngs of people attempting to leave Gate 1. I didn`t clock out until 11:19! And some of us rides employees were treated to a night ride on Round Up at 11:50 at night, a very nice way to end a long day at Coney. And I still had to wait for some cars when I left at midnight.

As always, your photo trip reports are remarkable! Sorry for not having seen this thread sooner. I have been working a TON of hours at Coney so far. In fact, my last day off was Tuesday, June 30th, and I`m on tap to record 60 hours this week, after weeks of 59 and 53 hours!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...