Arnolds Park, Iowa — You can now stand right where all the famous acts stood when they played for their adoring fans at the iconic Roof Garden at Arnolds Park.
Arnolds Park Amusement Park has created a new star and placed it on Preservation Plaza where the Roof Garden Ballroom’s center of the stage once was located. The star was unveiled at a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. One can stand where the Beach Boys, the Yardbirds, Johnny Cash, the Turtles and many more all sang and performed.
The star is actually part of a new walking tour developed by Arnolds Park. They tell us the new walking tour celebrates with you the rich rock and roll music history that has taken place at Arnolds Park Amusement Park.
A new self guided brochure has been created to take you to three unique stops for this tour:
Your first stop is in the entryway into the new Roof Garden Ballroom and the displays that have been created by Arnolds Park from their vast files of music memorabilia. You can see instruments, signed contracts, posters and more.
Next is the Iowa Rock & Roll Music Association’s Museum and Hall of Fame. They tell us that there you can see world class exhibits in a beautiful new setting. You can watch the movie of the history of rock music in Iowa. They tell us this is “Iowa’s and the Midwest’s rock and roll heaven.”
And your final stop is the new center-stage star in the old location of the Roof Garden.
While there was no Roof Garden at Arnolds Park for 31 years, the original Roof Garden did open in 1923, so the folks at Arnolds Park are celebrating 100 years this year.
Many northwest Iowans have fond memories of either the old Roof Garden, which was closed in 1988 when there was doubt about the amusement park’s future, or of the new Roof Garden, which opened at the park in 2019.