Stricker's Grove is the toughest ticket in town

Amusement park open to public just 8 days a year
Posted at 5:03 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 09:38:40-04

ROSS, Ohio -- The small, family-run amusement park Stricker's Grove is open to the public just eight days a year. 

Monday was one of them.

Tucked away in Ross, the park doesn't even compete with the big boys. It caters mainly to groups that rent it out. It doesn't even advertise.

"The East Side of town's never even heard of us," co-owner Debbie Ziegler said.

Ziegler likes being a successful secret.

"We don't want to be Kings Island, we don't have a pool like Coney Island," she said. "But we've got two wooden roller coasters, the only two in Hamilton County."

Ziegler's grandfather built one, "The Tornado," himself. They say he's the only person in the U.S. to do it.

"I lived right down the street from there back in the day ... It's kind of like coming back to my childhood a little bit," Ron Obercorn of Springdale said.

The park plays on nostalgia. Some of the rides are from the old Lesourdsille Lake Park. The "Teddy Bear" roller coaster is from Coney Island.

Roller coaster operator Julie Adams feels the nostalgia. She's been working there three years.

"I remember this park as a kid, and it's really cool to grow up and work at where I used to go to," she said. 

Ziegler said that on the rare day that the park is open, they just like to put a smile on a child's face.

"I have grandparents that went to the old park and they bring their kids here," she said. "It's a generational thing."