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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

1975 prices

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 Bobs
Chicago Log Race (water ride)
Monster Of The Midway
Antique Cars
Crash of '29 (bumper cars)
Ferris Wheel
Chicago Cat (standard coaster)
Chicago Loop (corkscrew coaster)
Four Seasons (dark ride)
Windy City Flyer

other attractions

kiddie rides
carnival games
shooting gallery
arcade games
vaudeville theatre
souvenir stands
moon walk
dunk tank
handwriting analysis
snack bars
haunted house
Fun Factory
caricature artists

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
*Private parties
*Teen disco nights
*Radio station promotions
*Rock concerts
*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
*Pepsi Challenge
*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
The Coasters
Wild Cherry
Willie Aimes
Anson Williams
Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon
Chubby Checker
Chuck Berry
Peter Tork
Jan and Dean
Jerry Lee Lewis
Little Richard
Rip Taylor
The Ramones
Rex Smith
Gary ‘US’ Bonds
The Shirelles
Blood, Sweat and Tears
The Hudson Brothers
Gloria Gaynor
The Guess Who
Rick Nelson
The Star Wars Robots (C3PO & R2D2)
Karl Wellenda

the circus

The circus, with the Rotor in the background

The circus, with the Yo-Yo, Ferris Wheel and Bumper Cars in the background

During construction

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