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Price Hill Day at Coney Island


How many neighborhood traditions have continued for nearly 100 years? Not too many, that’s for sure, but Price Hill Day at Coney Island dates back to the early 20th century. According to our archives, it hasn’t been a totally straight line from 1915, the first neighborhood Coney Island Day, to today. Coney Island closed after Kings Island opened in 1972, and for a few years Price Hill Day was held at Kings Island.
 
But the sponsoring organization at the time, the Price Hill Civic Club, decided Kings Island was just too big for a neighborhood picnic. They moved the party to a smaller venue, Stricker’s Grove, in Ross, Ohio. The summer picnic was held there until the Price Hill Historical Society & Museum took over the arrangements in the mid-1990s.
By that time, Coney Island had reopened, and Price Hill Day moved back and has now been back where it began for nearly 20 years. The timing of Price Hill Day has never changed, however—it is always the third Wednesday in July, a tradition that dates back to the first half of the twentieth century, when many businesses closed on Wednesday afternoons.
 
In earlier years, many people in Price Hill took the streetcar downtown, then cruised to Coney Island from the city's Public Landing on the Island Queen steamboat. The Island Queen exploded at the end of the 1947 summer season, which was the last time that regular steamboat service was provided to Coney Island. Today most people travel by car (parking is included in the ticket price), but the long-time traditions of swimming, enjoying the rides and other attractions, and picnicking with friends and neighbors remain.