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Oaks Park: 109 candles on the cake

Many families celebrate birthdays at historic, nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park every season.

But on June 7, it was “The Oaks” turn. And, at age 109, this “grand dame” of American amusement parks is still as young and lively as a teenager.

“We are now the longest-continually-operating amusement park in America,” exclaimed Events Manager Emily McKay.

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Oaks Amusement Parks Events Manager, Emily McKay, shows THE BEE one of the massive birthday cakes about to be served to park guests. Oaks Amusement Park was started by the Oregon Water and Power Commission as a destination for the end of the trolley line, McKay told THE BEE. “So, one of the reasons it was built – like many other ‘trolley parks’ of the day – was to give Oregon City residents a reason to come into town. And, it encouraged people living in Portland to use the new trolley line on weekends.”

To celebrate its 109th birthday, the park invited “iconic Oregonians” to share why Oregon is special to them, McKay said. “Then we’ll dedicate our new Chippers Choppers family ride with a graphic ‘road trip through Oregon’ theme.”

The park returned to their Tuesday-through-Sunday summer daily operations on June 14 which run through the end of August. The park is open year-round, but on a much more restricted schedule outside the summer months.

Oaks Amusement Park is located just north of the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, on Oaks Park Way. Take the turn just beyond the railroad tracks and drive north next to the Sellwood Riverfront Park.