Hamel's Amusement Park was for almost 20 years one of the few amusement parks located in the state of Louisiana, USA. Located in Shreveport, it was relatively small and yet hugely popular. People from across the state would visit its giant Ferris wheel or its roller coaster. A log-ride was also added later to round out the large ride attractions.
During the early years Hamels had a train ride that covered the back end of the property, where zebras, elephants, and other zoo animals roamed. The park also hosted many musical activities and local business family day entertainment in the shaded outdoor stage area. Smaller kids enjoyed their birthday parties in the large indoor kiddie-ride area, featuring "The Whip" and a kiddies boat ride, helicopter ride, and of course a carousel.
The midway featured rides such as the "Paratrooper", the yellow and black "Yo-Yo", bumper cars, the "Scrambler", "Tilt-a-Whirl", and "Magic Carpet". Also featured was a rifle-target game (which broke down for long stretches, but was fun when it was operational) and the ubiquitous cotton-candy, funnel-cake, frozen-ices, and hot-dog vendors. A fun ride that was only allowed for adults, were the "Go-Karts" on a long stretch of track.
Hamel's also featured special events throughout the 70's and 80's with everything from Spider-Man climbing the roller coaster to Star Wars Jawas signing autographs.
The park fell into hard times in the early 1990s when a tornado literally bent their Ferris wheel in half, and with the rides removed, the park served as grounds for a monthly arts and crafts exposition. Shortly thereafter, in 1999 it closed permanently. The Hamel family is one of the wealthiest and best known of Louisiana, rivaled only by The Copelands in wealth. This is an interesting site to visit in Louisiana, as the buildings still stand, as well as the log-ride which can be seen from the Jimmie Davis bridge.
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