Private Butler County amusement park to make rare opening for Fourth of July

Thousands showed up Monday to savor a beautiful summer day and share fun experiences of their past with children and grandchildren at Stricker’s Grove, a 95-year-old amusement park with fun rides, especially for children. The park is open to the public only a four times a year, in addition to several days in July for the 4H Community Fair. Other days it is open are July 4, the second Sunday in August, and Customer Appreciation Day in October. MIKE RUTLEDGE / STAFF
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Thousands showed up Monday to savor a beautiful summer day and share fun experiences of their past with children and grandchildren at Stricker’s Grove, a 95-year-old amusement park with fun rides, especially for children. The park is open to the public only a four times a year, in addition to several days in July for the 4H Community Fair. Other days it is open are July 4, the second Sunday in August, and Customer Appreciation Day in October. MIKE RUTLEDGE / STAFF

The private Butler County amusement park open only a few times a year will host a Fourth of July event on Sunday.

Stricker’s Grove at 11490 Hamilton-Cleves Road will hold events from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, including fireworks at 10 p.m.

Admission is free, and there are costs for parking and rides. There are 17 rides, all listed on the facility’s website.

Those rides include two roller coasters, a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, a train and a tilt-a-whirl, among others. It also has a miniature golf course and carnival-style games such as skeeball, horseshoes, a shooting gallery and video games. There also are a variety of foods and large areas with shaded picnic tables.

The park’s two coasters are the Teddy Bear and the Tornado. The tornado, a wooden roller coaster, was designed by Al Collins and built by Ralph Stricker, whom the park says is “the only person in the United States to build his own coaster.”

It was built between 1990 and 1993. The original Teddy Bear was in the kiddie land in Cincinnati’s Coney Island. Ralph Stricker obtained the blueprints to rebuild the Teddy Bear in Stricker’s Grove.

The park is available for rent to groups of 500 or more from mid-May to early October. The park notes that unlike most parks, it only rents to one group most of the time, “guaranteeing complete privacy without the hassle of sharing the park and park facilities.”