(Press Release) On Saturday May 19th Rotary Storyland will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Rotary Storyland opened to the public on May 19, 1962. This Saturday will mark 50 years to the very day of children and families enjoying the Central California treasure.
To commemorate the celebration Rotary Storyland will host a giant celebration on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. where guests will enjoy live entertainment by Mother Goose, special activities for children and cupcakes for the first 500 guests among other surprises. A very special dedication ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m. at King Arthur’s Castle, which will include a re-dedication of the castle, several proclamations will be read and there will also be a special cake cutting to celebrate 50 years.
King Arthur’s Castle is an original fixture at Rotary Storyland and has undergone a recent renovation sponsored by East Fresno Rotary, which will be officially unveiled at the special ceremony on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
In celebrating 50 years of fairy-tales and fantasy, admission on Saturday will be just fifty cents per person. A commemorative gold magic key has been created and will be on sale that day and there will also be food and train rides available for purchase.
The anniversary celebration will begin early Saturday morning with the 3nd annual “Storyland & Playland Fun Run/Walk.” Registration for various runs begin at 8am and all participants will receive entrance into Storyland for the day’s festivities and a free train ride. Early registration has closed but walk-ups are welcome Saturday morning.
Since opening on May 19, 1962 Rotary Storyland has been committed to its mission of promoting literacy, education and creating memories at an affordable price for the children and families of Central California. Storyland is a not-for-profit organization and relies heavily on the contributions of donors and volunteers alike. Storyland has seen several million visitors pass through its gates in its 45-year history and continues to bring delight to children near and far.
Rotary Storyland Fun Facts:
• Fresno Storyland (Now Rotary Storyland) opened May 19, 1962.
• Fresno Storyland had over 200,000 visitors in its first year.
• Storyland has never changed the shape of their “Magic Keys.” All Magic Keys that have been purchased throughout the 45-year history still operate all of the audio story boxes.
• Rotary Storyland has had several story exhibits come and go but still has seven of the original exhibits including King Arthurs Castle, The Children’s Chapel and The Three Little Pigs.
• Mrs. Patricia Hopper was the original designer of Fresno Storyland and Spalding Wathen was the builder of the park.
• In 1994 when Storyland was near extinction Rotary Playland stepped up and invested over $100,000 dollars into the park and at that time switched its name to Rotary Storyland. In that year the two parks began to not only share a name but common resources.
• Both Rotary Playland & Rotary Storyland still maintain separate Non-Profit status.
• Since 2007, over $600,000 in renovations have been completed at Storyland alone.
• Today Rotary Storyland continues to be a big school field trip destination and offers the one of the only reading and literacy focus field trips in the Central Valley.
• In 2011 Rotary Storyland hosted over 400 birthday parties.