SOUTHINGTON — The sounds of rides and excited park-goers could be heard at Lake Compounce as the park opened for its 175th year this weekend.
Saturday’s guests were the first to see the many changes the park underwent in preparation for the milestone birthday.
Aedyn Ruggrero and Grade Youker, both from Wallingford, were excited to get back to their favorite rides.
“My favorite ride is probably Phobia (Phear Coaster),” Youker said. “Any of the rollercoasters really, and the swings. I love the swings.”
Before the gates opened to the public Saturday, staff gathered with Southington and Bristol officials. The park is located in both towns. Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu and Southington Town Councilor Michael DelSanto were among those who attended.
“We owe a lot to Lake Compounce for bringing people into Southington,” DelSanto told the group. “So we thank you guys very much.”
The opening day celebration included samples of chicken and waffles made by the chefs at The Art of Yum in Southington and cake from Southington’s Sassy Mama’s Sweets.
The chicken and waffles will be featured at Lake Compounce’s “Bites and Pints” Food and Drink Festival in June.
“We’re ready to celebrate our nearly two centuries of history this summer at Lake Compounce,” general manager Larry Gorneault Jr. said in a press release. “The transformation we’ve undergone this offseason embraces our past while creating a more inviting and exciting amusement park for our guests to enjoy.”
To comply with COVID guidelines, the park will monitor capacity. It also introduced virtual turnstiles and will continue to require masks for anyone 2 or older.
Lake Compounce is open every weekend and Memorial Day until June 26. After that, the park will be open Thursday to Sunday until August 22.