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The Chicago Log Race with the Haunted House in the background
The Old Chicago Fairgrounds had "31 great rides and attractions" beneath the dome. When it opened, Old Chicago charged $1.00 for admission to the ride area (50 cents for kids), and then charged a flat fee for unlimited rides. A spiral entrance ramp led from the mall level down to the park level, where the rides were arranged in a large circle. Trees, benches and streetlights provided a park-like atmosphere.
View from the entrance ramp
Meet Charlie Baffle, the mayor of Old Chicago!
Be sure to visit page 4 to see a map of the entire ride area, taken from an original brochure!
Chicago Log Race (water ride)
Monster Of The Midway
Crash of '29 (bumper cars)
Chicago Cat (standard coaster)
Chicago Loop (corkscrew coaster)
Four Seasons (dark ride)
Windy City Flyer
The Fun Factory was a two-story children's play area added in 1977. This attraction charged a separate admission fee.
The view from the entrance ramp, showing
the Chicago Loop roller coaster, Guess-Your-Weight booth
and Chicago Log Race (behind the balloons)
Front: kiddie rides, Merry-go-Round, Spider
Back: Chicago Cat roller coaster, Round-Up, Four Seasons
Ron O'Brien's SuperCFL Back-to-School Bash
Book Old Chicago for your next group outing!
nightlife & special events
*Windy City Disco
*Teen disco nights
*Radio station promotions
*The WLS Big 89 Countdown:
-----broadcast live from Old Chicago
-----on New Year's Eve 1979
*Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon:
-----drive-up collection area in the parking
-----lot, remote broadcasts inside
*Fireworks on the Fourth of July
*Miss Teenage Chicago Pageant
*Scenes from the 1978 movie The Fury
-----were filmed in both the ride area
-----and shopping mall
Many rock bands, musicians and other celebrities appeared at Old Chicago during its five-year history.
Former employee Greg Eischen remembers....
"The entertainers would often go on a few rides and getting autographs while working was not allowed. In a lot of cases, employees were asked to become temporary roadies and help load and unload the equipment. I often volounteered to help roll the cases and pianos off the truck and to the stage area.
They perfomed in an area called the Old Chicago Stage, which was added in 1978.. The stage was placed where the Paratrooper ride stood (next to the Haunted House).. The Paratrooper ride was not moved, but removed and sold off for some reason.
On one of my first days working at Old C, 20 employees were asked to help hold the guy wires for Karl Wallenda, a 70 year old famous tight rope walker. I was one of those lucky 20. We had a two hour training class given by his sons on how to hold the wire and steady it as he approched our zone. In this class we actually got to meet Karl.
With the wire crossing inside the building from one side to the other, he crossed the park successfully with no mishaps. It was an interesting sight to see him suspended over the log ride. Sadly, his next tight rope walk between two buildings in Michigan was not successful and he fell to his death."
partial list of performers
Black Oak Arkansas
Tommy James and the Shondells
Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon
Jan and Dean
Jerry Lee Lewis
Gary ‘US’ Bonds
Blood, Sweat and Tears
The Hudson Brothers
The Guess Who
The Star Wars Robots (C3PO & R2D2)
The circus, with the Rotor in the background
The circus, with the Yo-Yo, Ferris Wheel and Bumper Cars in the background
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