The Old Chicago Fairgrounds
The entrance to the Old Chicago Fairgrounds like Old Chicago was grand itself.
After passing through streets of the mall you wound your way around to the
back of the building where it all opened up into this majestic vista.
From there you had to walk down Old Chicago's circular ramps down into the
Fairgrounds that sat a story below the mall level.
The Chicago Loop was the Old Chicago Fairground's star attraction.
Back in 1975 a rollercoaster indoors was a big thing and no one had ever
seen one that looped as well.
The Chicago Loop was the second "Corkscrew" production model coaster
that was made by Arrow Dynamics. It was seventy feet tall and was
1250 feet long.
An amusing story about the Chicago Loop was that Marriott's wanted to use
the name "Chicago Loop" for a coaster that they had in the plans
for their under construction Great America park up in Gurnee. Old
Chicago beat them to the punch. Great America's coaster was eventually
named the Turn of the Century and later transformed into the Demon when
they added two more loops to the ride.
The Chicago was the second modern looping rollercoaster and the first one
east of the Mississippi. No one in the area had ever seen anything
like it and it really made quite an impression especially since it looped
right over the midway.
With Old Chicago's limited space everything was right next to each other
and in this later photo you can see the Toboggan coaster to the right.
Toboggans were made by Chance Rides and you used to find them at traveling
fairs a lot back in the 1970's. The lift is straight up in the middle
of the tube. When you got to the top you spiraled down before hitting
a few dips at the end.
The sign for this booth reads "New Silver Satellites $1.50" so
my guess is that this booth sold Mylar balloons which were kind of new back
then. To the left is the Old Chicago and to the right is the queue
for the Old Chicago Log Race.
The Old Chicago Log Race was the other big attraction at the Old Chicago
The Log Race was a log flume also made by Arrow Dynamics. It featured
a twisty dark tunnel and a thirty five foot lift and drop at the end of
These days log flumes are pretty commonplace but the Log Race was really
something to get excited about back then. Plus it started out with
a dark tunnel which I'm certain quite a few couples used as a "tunnel
of love" in order to grab a few kisses.