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‘Starlight Park: History of One of NYC’s Greatest Amusement Parks’ Webinar

August 9 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Can’t make it live? Register and get access to the full replay for one week!
New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com

From Clason Point and Fairyland to Kane’s Casino, the Bronx River in New York City was home to many lost amusement parks — but the grandest and most beloved of them all by the early 20th century was the legendary Starlight Park. How could it be that this once premier leisure destination, which attracted the who’s who of New York — ranging from famous actresses, models, silent film stars, stuntmen, prize fighters, and even opera singers — has largely been forgotten with few remnants left behind? With the help of one of the Bronx’s top historians, it’s time to uncover the secrets of one of New York’s most iconic amusement parks — and how that legacy is being reclaimed through one of the borough’s largest park revitalization programs of the past decade.

Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the colorful, but nearly forgotten history of Starlight Park — opened in 1918 on the grounds of the unsuccessful Bronx World Fair, this massive amusement park in the West Farms neighborhood featured innovative rides and world-class entertainment that hosted visitors from all of New York City for over a decade.

Led by historian Stephen Paul DeVillo, our digital showcase of Starlight Park and its curious story will include:

  • How the old mill town of West Farms — then not a part of New York City — became an entertainment destination in the early 1900s
  • historical overview of Starlight Park and how it evolved out of an ill-starred attempt to hold a world’s fair in the Bronx
  • A deep dive into Starlight Park’s variegated amusement offerings, which included an immense saltwater swimming pool, a double-track rollercoaster, circuses, boxing matches, free open-air opera productions, and an occasional human cannonball
  • Rare historic photos illustrating Starlight Park’s rise, decline, and postwar oblivion
  • A discussion around Starlight Park’s transformation into a public park, and details around how this redeveloped recreational space is about to double in size as part of the “Starlight Park Phase II” project

Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Stephen — any and all questions about Starlight Park are welcomed and encouraged!

Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!

See you there, virtually!

*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar

**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.

***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week

About Stephen

Local historian Stephen DeVillo is the author of The Bowery: The Strange History of New York’s Oldest Street and The Bronx River in History and Folklore. In recent years he had led annual Jane’s Walks for the Municipal Art Society along the Bowery and elsewhere, and the Bronx River Rambles for the Bronx River Alliance. A lifelong walker and urban explorer, he is fascinated by the big histories to be found in small places, and seeks out their obscure and half-forgotten tales, tragedies, and folklore.

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Categories: Virtual, Landmarks