New York has its Coney Island; Tulsa had its Bell’s Amusement Park. Founded in 1951, Bell’s rapidly became the city’s must-visit attraction. Over the years, it accumulated some fifty rides and attractions, and it became one of the only amusement parks in the country to conjoin itself each year with a state fair. In its fifty-six years of operation, it’s safe to say that Bell’s achieved a place in the collective unconconscious of native Tulsans.
While the park’s closure in 2005 remains blanketed in political controversy, the memory of Bell’s still haunts its most recent president, Robert Kiwanis Bell III. In this special episode of Goodbye Tulsa, you’ll hear Mr. Bell himself tell you about the park’s founding, the construction of the rides, and its operation.
While Bell’s Amusement Park no longer stands, Bell himself is hopeful that it may re-open one day, perhaps in a new location. Until then, we Tulsans will have to content ourselves with the stories the park left behind.