Fun Time U.S.A. Could be Coming Back to the Coast
One local group is hoping to bring back a blast from the past, a local landmark longtime residents should remember. At a vacant lot at the corner of Cowan Road and Highway 90, almost a decade ago, you could come for an evening of family fun with go-karts, putt putt golf, arcade games, and more. Sounds like a fun time right?
Long time locals may know of the place, but if you don’t, you may get your chance soon enough. It’s been nearly a decade since anyone scored a hole in one, took the inside lane on the go-karts, or blindsided a friend on the bumper cars at Fun Time U.S.A., but for Rafe O’Neal, whose family owned the amusement park all those years ago, it’s been too long. O’Neal says, "As our Coast is now in high gear in recovery, I think the time is absolutely right for this landmark to return."
As it turns out, O’Neal is not the only one who feels that way, and the project is gaining more and more community support. Romy Simpson, co-owner of Negrotto’s Gallery, says, "It’s just for everyone and I think that’s the big appeal, the universal appeal that an amusement park has. This is our Coast, this is our place where the memories have already been built."
Memories are exactly what supporters say can help launch this project. Organizers are asking Coast residents to bring their own Fun Time pictures, home movies, or memorabilia to Negrotto’s Gallery for a memory wall exhibit, which will be held in late February. O’Neal also says, "There’s a definite need for a Fun time again, an affordable, safe, clean, fun place where families to go have a good time together."
It’s been about nine and a half years since the empty lot was known as Fun Time U.S.A., and if you don’t mind a little digging, it doesn’t take long to unearth artifacts from the past, like a golf ball from the putt putt range, or an inner tube from a go-kart. There’s a local movement to put these objects in the past and move forward, bringing Fun Time to an entirely new generation. O’Neal also says, "That’s what Fun Time sort of symbolizes to me, generations of families making memories together in a very special place."
Carousel horses are available for "adoption," so for a fee, you can dedicate or name a horse and be part of bringing back the fun times. Simpson closes, "It’s something that everyone is excited to have in their life. It’s just fun times, and that’s exactly the name of it, Fun Time U.S.A."
O’Neal says that if the memory wall and horse adoption go as planned, they hope to have the putt putt course open by mid-May of 2015.
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