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Visitors, locals, businesses excited for return of Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - The amusement rides at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk were tentatively supposed to open Memorial Day, like they do most years, but didn’t. They were then expected to open Friday night — but didn’t. The Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park is on hold just a little bit longer.

But not much longer. Those working on the rides Friday evening and inspectors with the state say they should be ready to rock and roll by tomorrow.

The delayed start could be confusing to some as the rides have been moving all week. Several people suspected it was for testing and inspection.

“They’ve had everything on each day,” said Steven Gallagher, a bartender who works at Hurricane Alley’s located directly next to the rides. “They’re testing and redoing and making sure everything is ready for everybody to get on and go.”

Many were told the amusement rides would be ready to go by Friday night, so they showed up for a thrill ride, but were not thrilled when they found out they may have to wait just a little longer.

“We came here for the rides — mostly — the rides and that wasn’t open so that was a big bummer,” said Bryce Holmes who is visiting from Louisiana.

“Sad — I thought it was tonight,” said Crew Silliman, a Carolina Beach local.

“We promised this little guy a carnival for the past two days saying the rides were going to be started; they were going to be going around and around,” said Samantha Bass who is visiting with her son from San Diego. “We’re going to have to find something else just as entertaining as a carnival because we promised him a carnival so maybe the pier?”

Crews working on the rides Friday said they should be ready to go by Saturday night.

Inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Labor were still checking out several of the rides Friday evening.

While they may be ready to go on Saturday, some visitors are sad they’re missing out.

“I wish I could go but I have to leave tomorrow morning,” said Ezra McConnell, who is visiting from Tennessee.

Businesses on the boardwalk, however, will not be missing out this summer.

The amusement rides were not setup in 2020, but now that they’re back businesses like Hurricane Alley’s is expecting more customers to ride through their doors.

“Yes, I definitely anticipate some heavy traffic,” Gallagher said.

He said that not having the rides last year definitely made a difference in traffic.

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