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Camden Park hosts Labor Day bash

Blues BBQ
Sep. 01, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

CEREDO -- It was a beautiful afternoon of fun and nostalgia Sunday for Deb and Terry Barker of Ironton. The couple brought their three grandchildren -- Laney and Petal Conley, 6 and 1, and Preston Barker, 2 -- to Camden Park for rides, ice cream and a good time in the waning days of summer.

"We don't get to keep all three of them very often. ... It's always fun to see the little ones enjoy (the park)," Deb Barker said.

"We rode all these rides when we were kids," Terry Barker said.

They were among the crowd that came out during Camden Park's Blues and Barbeque Labor Day Celebration featuring music, barbeque in the restaurant and fireworks to close out the evening. On Sunday, the Nashville band Humming House performed, and on Monday, the theme continues with music by Black Twig Pickers.

It's the last summertime hurrah for Camden Park, which remains open through October, but with limited hours. Following Labor Day, the September hours will be Saturdays only, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. In October, the park opens from 6 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for its "Spooktacular" events.

For Labor Day, "We've had a nice weekend," said Shawn Wellman, ride supervisor for the park. "With schools going back earlier, pools and other things close earlier, but we're still hanging in there, and the crowds are coming out to see us."

Janet Dotson and Paula Preston, both grandmothers to 9-year-old Jacob and 7-year-old Abby Dotson, brought the kids out to made some Camden Park memories.

Both women had memories of the park themselves. Preston, who lives in Mingo County, remembers seeing singers like Billy Ray Cyrus and Tanya Tucker perform at Camden Park. Dotson of Pike County, Ky., remembers bringing her son when he was 4.

"We came on a company trip," Dotson said. "It's been about 30 years, and now I'm doing it with my grandkids."

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