EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 1, 2014

Canobie Lake Park gears up for new season

Canobie Lake Park readies for 112th season

SALEM — While Canobie Lake Park’s newest rides may be what thrill seekers crave, they’re not the most popular rides at the 112-year-old park.

That honor still goes to the Yankee Cannonball, an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster that’s graced Canobie since 1936.

“The Yankee Cannonball has been, and probably always will be, the most popular feature at the park,” Canobie spokesman Chris Nicoli said. “We’re excited to have the Equinox and Untamed, but the Yankee Cannonball is still the most popular.”

It’s the combination of exciting, new rides and traditional attractions that continues to draw thousands of visitors to Canobie each year, Nicoli said.

Canobie Lake Park is one of the “603 Reasons” readers said they love New Hampshire. The park opens for the season Saturday.

For the last month, the park’s several hundred employees have been busy training and getting the amusements and concessions ready, Nicoli said.

“It’s been fast and furious,” Nicoli said yesterday.

But snow earlier this spring put the park a week behind schedule, he said. A chance of rain this weekend presents another obstacle, Nicoli said.

“We have come a long way in the last few weeks,” he said. “Right now, we must get through Saturday and Sunday.”

There aren’t any new rides this year, but there are two new live shows. One is a tribute to Madonna, the other honors the pop music band One Direction, Nicoli said.

“It’s the one everyone is talking about,” he said of One Direction. “That group is huge right now.”

Ticket prices have increased $1 this year to $36, but tickets are available for $28 through Sunday. The park also offers special discounts, including free admission and lunch for parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Season passes are not offered because of the park’s capacity, Nicoli said.

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