Rocky Glen filled with music in the summer of 1983.
The new operator — Marvin Roth, owner of Roth Novelty Co. and the Station Restaurant complex in Wilkes-Barre — breathed life into the 80-year-old amusement park in Moosic with an announcement of concerts and new attractions.
The park reopened on July 1, and the music started on July 17 with Music Fest: A Day in the Park. The day-long festival featured the bands Abilene, East Coast, TNT, Tumblin’ Dice and Great Rock Scare.
A ticket for the festival cost $3 plus $2 park admission. With park admission, guests received eight tokens they could use for rides, food or arcade games. An unlimited ride pass cost $4.95, but after 5:30 p.m. the price dropped to $3.95.
Following the Day in the Park festivities came a free concert by local band Revival on July 24. Two big shows then rounded out the month.
On July 30, national recording artist Meat Loaf performed before a sold-out crowd. The band Boy Next Door opened for the singer, whose stop in Moosic was in support of his fourth album, “Midnight at the Lost and Found.” Tickets for the show cost $5.
On the next day, July 31, the park hosted a polka festival. The day started with a polka Mass followed by free performances by Stanky and the Coal Miners, Jolly Joe and the Bavarians, and Lefty and the Polka Chaps.
In addition to music, the park added some new attractions such as go-karts, bumper boats and an antique car ride. Alan Kanter, park official, said that in addition to the new rides, Rocky Glen would offer food such as hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries for 39 cents. He added that the arcade would feature a new 18-player Whac-A-Mole game.
“We’re in the entertainment business and that’s what we want to do,” Kanter said of the concerts and the new additions. “We want the people to have a good time at a minimal cost. That’s just what we’re offering — a good time for little money. This is a beautiful place to visit; it has a nice setting with the trees and the lake.”
Throughout the rest of 1983, the hitmakers kept on playing at Rocky Glen. Eddie Money took the stage on Sept. 9, and Huey Lewis and the News played a special Thanksgiving Day concert.
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Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast