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Doing the Zippin Pippin Coaster Thing at Bay View Beach
Taking a Ride on the Zippin Pippin
Put a Little Zippin Pippin in Your Life
If someone said to you “Lets go do the zippin pippin thing at the Bay View Beach Park”. What would you think?
Well, let me explain what “zippin pippin” means before you decide to go. The dictionary defines “pippin” as a seed ie. orange pip and a type of apple. However, sometimes around the 1920s, “pippin” started being used to mean something greatly admired, such as a pretty girl or a car, for example. Such phrases used then were, “She's a beaut”, “a corker”, “a knockout”, “a peach” or “a pippin”.
Amusement park wooden roller coaster builder and fanatic John Miller, had this in mind when he started calling some of the roller coasters “Pippin” or “Dippers”. The roller coaster built in Memphis, Tenn. was called the Pippin in Memphis and the one found in Chicago's Riverview Park was called the Pippin Dips. The earliest researchers found the name Pippin used beginning May 31, 1934 until 1976. After that time it was renamed to Zippin Pippin by Libertyland Amusement Park in Memphis.
According to the record books, legend entertainer Elvis “The King” Presley enjoyed taking a ride on the Zippin Pippin roller coaster. The story about Presley's famous last coaster ride and public appearance was on the Zippin Pippin at Libertyland on Aug. 8, 1977.
After the Zippin Pippin closed down in Memphis in 2005, roller coaster enthusiasts everywhere were bummed. However, that all changed a few years later. The mayor and several of the people working for the City of Green Bay (Wis) also thought highly of the Zippin Pippin. So, on March 19, 2010 Mayor James Schmitt and the representatives of Save Libertyland, Inc. signed a $10,000 purchase contract and got the rights to the name, design and any historic items related to the Zippin Pippin roller coaster.
The Zippin Pippin roller coaster was later built at Bay View Beach Park located on the east side of Green Bay, and it first began operating in late May 2011. The first test ride wth riders was on April 29.
The city charged only $1 for each rider to get the opportunity to feel the negative g-force or momentary weightlessness that comes when riding on a wooden roller coaster. Ever since its opening, the roller coaster has been a big hit for kids and adults alike.
The Bay View Beach Amusement Park is situated in scenic spot near the mouth of the Fox River at the point where it flows into Green Bay. Besides the Zippin Pippin roller coaster, it features other rides such as bumper cars, and has concession stands. The park's history dates back to the 1890s, where businessman Mitchell Nejedlo purchased the land and turned it into a park.
The park is a great place for families to get together and relax. Another hot spot near the called “Kastle Park”, features batting cages, paintball, go-carts and mini-golf. And, located down the street from the park is the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary where there are plenty of opportunities to see wild animals roaming around.
Finding the park is relatively easy. Travelers on I-43 need to get off on Webster Avenue (exit 187). Follow north on Webster Avenue to Irwin Avenue and look for the signs to the park entrance. There is no admission charge to enter the park, and parking is free.
Check out the City of Green Bay's Web site for ticket information at http://www.ci.green-bay.wi.us The Zippin Pippin will be open again once the park re-opens in late May.
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Delve into Amusement Park Trivia
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