2010-07-22 / Entertainment

Group Works To Save Historic Wooden Pa. Coaster

CONNEAUT LAKE, Pa. (AP) – A group that wants to refurbish a historic wooden roller coaster – and get it back on track – is asking the public for help.

The Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park say they can get a $50,000 grant to help with the Blue Streak, the sixth-oldest wooden roller coaster in the country, if people go online and vote in a grant project sponsored by Pepsi. In all the trustees hope to raise $125,000 to complete the project and provide offseason maintenance for the coaster.

The Blue Streak has been idle since 2006, though the park is open. Built in 1938, the Blue Streak is one of two Ed Vettel-designed coasters that are still standing. The coaster is located at Conneaut Lake Park, a 118-yearold park and the 12th-oldest in the nation that in recent years has been plagued by financial problems.

“Work is being done on the coaster now, and aside from this potential grant, we need to continue to keep the fundraising and donation efforts coming so that we can keep the crew here and working on the coaster,’’ said Lisa Rawson, one of the trustees and a Conneaut Lake native.

The Pepsi Refresh Project is awarding $1.3 million in grants to projects in a variety of categories that win the most online votes. The voting closes at the end of July at www.refresheverything.com.

The site is already filled with comments from current and former Pennsylvania residents recalling fond memories of riding the coaster.

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