Raven station

… but somebody’s got to do it

The call came out on the two-way radio first thing this morning: All units, we need 24 bodies for The Raven! Training is a particularly rough time around here. We have to ride roller coasters over and over. We have sample new food items day after day. Bummer. Rachel and I trudged dutifully out to…

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Happy Kellems at Santa Claus Land

Praise from Paris

… Illinois, that is. Here’s what an email from Mike had to say: I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading the articles you post on the HoliBlog site. I have visited Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari every year since 1979 when my grandparents would bring myself, my brother, and cousins…

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1956 Bill Koch with parents

A story from the 1940s

Mrs. Koch just called and told me this little story; she asked me to add it to our HoliBlog: On Sunday, there was a knock at her door. It was an elderly gentleman, who asked if she knew the whereabouts of L.J. Koch, Jr., an old friend. She explained that he had passed away; he…

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Fire extinguisher training

P.A.S.S. me that extinguisher

Anyone driving by Holiday World at lunchtime today probably wondered what sort of tribal ritual we were performing. A tall man with a flaming torch lit a fire a pan of gasoline and water in the Raven Parking Lot. And we were all lined up (in a circle, actually) so that one by one we…

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Unpainted water tower

Up, up and away!

It’s noisier than usual this spring. There’s a giant contraption being assembled right across the street in our Legend parking lot. And it looks like a hot-air balloon: Actually, it’s a new water tower. Our very own. That massive sphere will hold half a million gallons. That a lot of H-2-O! Will Koch likes to…

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Second Raven train

First flight

The second train at The Raven is feeling right at home. You guessed it — Raven Red! Originally (back in 1994), I was in favor of a black train, since ravens are that color. But the red is so stunning, especially once the trees leaf out; it was definitely the right choice. Four more weeks…

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Raven sighting

Just pulled into my parking space and saw, off in the woods, The Raven flying by. It’s roller-coaster testing time. The train is empty, of course. But still, what a glorious sight! And the click-click-click sound as the train ascends the lift hill is music to my ears! We’re adding a second train to The Raven…

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Bradford pear trees

It always snows in April

It’s a shame we’re not open this month. Now that’s a dangerous statement to make 29 days before opening. Everyone is focused on getting rides ready to go, employees trained, new stuff publicized and advertised. Lots of painting and cleaning to do. Time is of the essence. Tempus fugit. Nerves can get frazzled. In April,…

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A friend from ’62

Wow. It’s not just my Mom reading this thing. An email came in late yesterday afternoon from a lady asking about discounts. When I emailed her back with the information, she replied with this sweet story (I have her permission to post this and use her name): I remember my Aunt Deanie (who had come…

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By the numbers

Just to put to rest any cynical suspicions that the HoliBlog is intended to be a sweet, puffy, sugary, cotton-candy cog in my magical PR spin machine… I’m about to pull my hair out! And it’s all about numbers. Now, I’m not a math genius, but I can hold my own. I balance my checkbook….

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Mrs. Koch in front of tiki head

Would you like to take a walk?

A lot of children (and some adults) think working at a theme park is the coolest job imaginable. Yes, making families happy for a living is an amazing career. Permit me, however, to clear up a few possible misconceptions: No, we don’t get to go on rides all day No, we don’t take long lunches…

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