Meanwhile, down the road 4 miles…

If you've been following us for a while, you know that Will and I are on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Boyhood Drama Association. We're working on mounting a new show, aptly named LINCOLN, this summer at Lincoln Amphitheatre.

We had a Board meeting this morning and our Artistic Director, Scott Lank, gave an exciting update about the scenic design and his selection of designers for the new show.

I teased Scott later: So you're saying you're the only one on the artistic team so far who doesn't have Broadway credentials?

He grinned. He's done that "Lincoln thing" and surrounded himself with the best and the brightest. (Which is not to say that his resume isn't impressive as well.) As a theatre professor at the University of Evansville's celebrated theatre department, Scott has impressed audiences throughout the country with his remarkable productions.

Lincoln Amphitheatre's Communications Director, Laura, snagged Scott after the meeting and shot the first of many videos with him. Please take a look … now, and when LINCOLN opens in June.

“I’ll be a lady of leisure”

Frieda Foertsch

Today, our staff bid a fond farewell to this sweet face:

Frieda Foertsch with Goat Cart
After many, many years of helping to make Santa Claus Land and then Holiday World & Splashin‘ Safari an especially lovely place, she’s decided to become “a lady of leisure.”

Over the years, she’s appeared as a calendar girl, won a state-wide honor, been featured in a pictorial history book, and even got 15 seconds of fame on “60 Minutes.”

She’s our dear Frieda

Frieda Foertsch
Since 1954, Frieda has graced us with her formidable presence. Whether working the front gate, helping in the kitchen, sewing a new red suit for Santa Claus, or tending to the park’s flowers, she’s offered a work ethic and kind humor that has inspired generations of young workers.

We gathered today to honor Frieda, who turned 98 last fall. We told stories, looked at old photos, and ate comfort food (Will’s wife, Lori, told me he ate two fried biscuits).

Frieda and Will

Frieda’s response to all the fuss?

I’d like to thank the Kochs for putting up with me all these years

Afterwards, a lot of private thoughts were quietly exchanged. Chad thanked Frieda for stitching up his britches one day after he split his uniform slacks at work.

She smiled that smile.

Tammy in Group Sales paused for a few words and a hug.

Tammy and Frieda

Tom told a great story about putting a new roof on Frieda’s house 28 years ago.

She questioned why he’d used a certain roofing material.

“Aw, Frieda, this is the last roof you’ll ever need.”

He replaced it last year.

And now it’s time for an entirely new roof, as Frieda moves to Evansville for her retirement.

We’ll stay in touch.

And we’ll remember her always

For she planted much more than just flower seeds in her 55 years here at the park.

Frieda Foertsch

Screaming headlines

Don't get to do it too often, but today is an appropriate time to write one.

A screaming headline.

One of those over-the-top statements that's a little closer to fiction than reality.

Attention-getting and with tongue firmly in cheek we scream:

Oprah Calls Holiday World 'Wacky'!

Head over here to read the full release, which includes a link to the article.

And … just curious … do you agree? Is this a wacky place?

Heavy lifting

Thursday was the first day for heavy lifting as crews moved steel into place at the Pilgrims Plunge construction site.

As far as “going vertical,” it’s only a few feet …

… but it’s progress.


Just ask Aretha

Susan's birthday balloons

The marvelous Ms. Aretha Franklin said/sang it best:


Find out what it means to me…

Well, a different tune was playing over in the main office this morning.

It was Happy Birthday, but in a minor key. Some young upstart over there decided 40 qualifies as “old.”

Susan's birthday balloons

You know, one of our Company Values is Respect.

We Respect the Individual

It’s a good value. It serves us well.

It’s been handed down in the Koch and Yellig family from generation to generation.

But today, since there’s cake, I guess there’s a slight reprieve. (I hope that’s okay, Aretha.)

Susan’s a good sport.

For such a young’un.

A work of art

Lisa in her stylish white hard hat took this photo today:

The construction guys offered to take her up in the manlift for a birds-eye view. She's planning to do that next week. Her other photos are here on our Facebook page.

Meanwhile, I was over at the other side of the worksite with Will and a TV crew.

My photo is not nearly as artistic:

In fact, between the mud and the fence and the videographer, there was no other angle to take than this one.

You know… the view with the crane in the background. And the porta-potty. And the little visual trick that looks like whoever is in the porta-potty is about to go for a ride.

“Hi” from Shanghai

Holidog in Shanghai

They got me.


You may remember this story from a few years back. The Gravity Group engineers pulled off a clever ploy by sending a little beanie-version of Holidog around the world (literally) on a “voyage.” For months they sent anonymous photos and emails; we never figured out who was behind Holidog’s jet-setting ways.

Until they fessed up

This week, Korey emailed me that he and Chad are in China right now, working on a new coaster:

Last time we got to tour around Shanghai for part of a day. That won’t happen this time. Work, work, work … It is a small world, though. When we were in downtown Shanghai we bumped into someone with a Holiday World T-shirt. What are the odds of that?

Okay, so this part is my own fault. I went over to our Twitter page and posted that a Holiday World shirt had been seen in Shanghai.

Pretty cool, huh?

So I emailed it to our directors, too.

And then I went back to Korey’s email and realized he’d attached a photo.

A photo of that person wearing the Holiday World shirt:

Holidog in Shanghai


CPR = Check Pockets Regularly

Our annual CPR training for fulltimers is today.

Here's James practicing chest compressions on Tim:

With each compression, a few more items slipped out of Tim's pockets.

And here's Craig practicing "baby CPR" on a charming little doll.

Is that horror-flick Chucky? …or maybe a prop from the roadshow of Wicked.