After being shuttered (although it was still staffed) for its 2020 season, and after been permitted to operate only on a limited basis in 2021, historic and nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park began its 117th season on Saturday, March 19 — and THE BEE was there.
All of the colorful sights, merry sounds, and appetizing aromas that families expect were filling the air as visitors entered the Midway.
"As in our past 'normal' seasons, we opened for Oregon Spring Break all week — and will now continue to be open on Saturdays and Sundays until our Summer Season begins," explained the Oaks Park Association's Marketing and Events Director, Emily MacKay.
"All your favorite rides, as well as mini golf and Midway games, are all here to entertain everyone in our famous family‐friendly environment," MacKay told THE BEE.
Again this season, rides on the historic, American‐made 1912 Herschell‐Spillman hand‐carved menagerie Carousel, and rides on the Oaks Park Train, will be free.
"As a community‐minded organization, we realize that some families don't have the time or resources to purchase all‐day ride bracelets," MacKay remarked. "So, we welcome everyone to come, bring a picnic basket, and take free rides on the Carousel and Oaks Park Train."
At the end of May, the Multnomah County Fair will return at Oaks Park over the Memorial Day Weekend.
"And this year, we'll be doing something special for the Fourth of July, including fireworks," confided MacKay. "And our beloved Oaks Oktoberfest will be back in a new format. After that, the Haunted Scare‐Grounds returns, and will be open until we end our season on October 31."
"Finding employees has definitely been more of a challenge," MacKay acknowledged. "We're one of the largest youth employers in Portland, hiring from age 16 (although the staffers who run amusement rides must be least 18 years old) — so working with us is perfect for students, or seniors, or anyone who's looking to have a little fun on the weekends!
"And, a great benefit is that, if you work here a couple days a week, you get free rides and roller skating for your family throughout the season," she pointed out, inviting applicants to check in at the employment section of their website: http://www.OaksPark.com
Along the Midway, Oaks Park Association CEO Brandon Roben — trash picker in hand — stopped to say hello. "Today couldn't be better! Nice weather, and just the right amount of guests here to be easily accommodated by the many new workers with us this season."
As of when the park opened this year, visitor capacities continued to be limited. To avoid disappointment at the ticket booth, and to be guaranteed access to attractions, guests must purchase tickets online at — http://www.OaksPark.com
Oaks Amusement Park is operated by the nonprofit 501c3 "Oaks Park Association", and is accessed from the road turning north at the railroad crossing at the west end of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood.
Relive the opening for 2022 of Oaks Park, in this brief exclusive BEE video: