Saturday, August 11, 2001

No reservations needed for Family Day at Stricker's Grove

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        CROSBY TOWNSHIP — Folks who visit Stricker's Grove for the park's ninth annual Family Day Sunday can enjoy fun with a rich Hamilton County heritage.

        The park was developed in 1924 by Henry Stricker on his 55-acre spread in Mount Healthy. When his co-work ers at Procter & Gamble began asking if they could bring their families to his country place, he planted apple orchards on his land so that folks could picnic beneath the trees.

    What: Stricker's Grove Family Day. When: 1-9 p.m. Sunday; rides open 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
    Where: Ohio 128, southwest of Ross. Admission: $7 per person, which includes all rides, parking and soft drinks
    Information: 521-9747 or 738-3366.
        “For awhile, it was people from Procter & Gamble, and then the churches started asking,” said Ralph Stricker, Henry Stricker's son.

        In time, Henry decided to build a dance hall to accommodate musical entertainment. The hall was designed so that it could be converted to a coop for the owner's chickens if the park failed.

        Far from failing, Stricker's Grove became very popular. A pony cart ride and small horse and pony track were added in the 1940s. During the next decade, the first mechanical rides were built.

        Henry Stricker's three sons took over when their father died in 1960. In 1972 Ralph moved Stricker's Grove to a 25-acre parcel near Fernald, and became its sole owner.

        From May to October, Stricker's Grove rents its facilities to companies and organizations of 500 or more, but caters to only one at a time. It is open to the public twice a year: on the Fourth of July and on Family Day, which is the second Sunday in August every year.

        Ralph got the idea for Family Day some years back when people who had attended an Italian Day event wanted to return that summer.

        “We had the date open, and they wanted to come back and ride the big roller coaster,” he said. “It's been real successful ever since.”

        Family Day visitors can choose among 16 midway rides, including the only two wooden roller coasters in Hamilton County. There is a baseball diamond, a miniature golf course, game arcade and five horseshoe pits. Families are welcome to bring picnic lunches, and can purchase beer on site.


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