expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

17 August 2006

La Ronde

La Ronde was one of the most popular sections of Expo 67, attracting 22.5 million visitors in 1967. Though Expo 67 was designed to be dismantled at the end of it's 6-month run, La Ronde had been intended as a permanent Montreal attraction that would last beyond Expo. Indeed, La Ronde has been thrilling visitors for almost 40 years now...

Popular sections of the park included Fort Edmonton, an "old West" town sponsored by the city of Edmonton. Visitors could have their hair cut, have their picture taken behind bars, or relax and have a drink at the Golden Garter Saloon. It was in this section that the popular log flume ride, La Pitoune, was found. The aquatic roller coaster still exists today, one of the most popular of La Ronde. An estimated 20 million people have been on it since 1967!

La Ronde had an impressive collection of the latest in amusement park rides, the star attraction being the Gyrotron. The Gyrotron was a huge pyramid of metal scaffolding, reminding me of the exterior of the U.S. or the Netherlands pavilions. The ride promised to be a thrilling adventure first through space and then down to the core of the earth. Unfortunately, the ride had to be slowed down due to safety concerns, and was a little less thrilling than promised...

La Ronde's cable car system, called the Sky Ride, offered visitors a convenient means of crossing the park. A cable car station was intentionally located near the entrance of La Ronde, to help disperse the thick crowds. The ride has been dismantled in recent years, but I remember riding on it as a kid when visiting La Ronde. It was one of my favorite rides, offering a magnificent view of the park.

The Garden of Stars was a 1500 seat theatre that held teen-age activities during the day, and Las Vegas-like revues at night. The building still exists today and even the interior (complete with cheesy brown and orange carpeting) has been mostly unchanged since Expo 67...

A Children's World section, devoted to kids aged 4 to 9 years, offered rides inspired by the "Tales of Mother Goose". Three of the original rides are still in operation: a miniature roller coaster, a water journey in a tub, and an old-time train ride.

The La Ronde theme park is the only part of Expo 67 in existance today that still serves it's original purpose. I go every summer, and imagine myself visiting Expo 67...

To see photos of my trip to La Ronde on August 15, 2006, click here.

images: from top: (1) author's own, (2) FOS productions,
(3) alamedainfo.com (4) naid.sppsr.ucla
(5) alamedainfo.com (6) author's own
(7) FOS productions (8) alamedainfo.com

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Achterblog said...

Manual trackback:
Achterblog: Expo 67 (german)

6:46 am  
Blogger Stinkypaw said...

Looks like you guys had a fun day at La Ronde!

10:42 am  

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