Don't most events in our lives happen by chance? I hope to share with you the chance observations and experiences of my travels. And I offer a chance for you to comment as well. Add to that my fond affection for my late cat, Chance, who was afflicted with feline leukemia and died of cancer, and you will see why "chance" has a special meaning in my life. By chance, the adventure continues and can be shared...
Monday, April 23, 2018
If you haven't ever been to Roadside America in Berks County, I hope you'll soon make the trip. It is a step back in time and a bit kitschy, but I love it just the same. I made a visit this past weekend with my daughter because I hadn't been there in decades. And the recent news that the incredible attraction is for sale caused alarm. The owners hope someone will buy the spot and keep it open, but the same was hoped for the National Christmas Center in Lancaster County -- and that didn't work out. We visited that spot in 2016, but that cool center did not sell and is now closed. Here are two photos from our visit there:
But getting back to Roadside America:
Roadside America is touted as the "world's greatest indoor miniature village." When you visit, you'll see tiny depictions of America, from pioneer days to the mid 20th century. Villages, a circus, a country club with fox hunt, pioneer towns, skaters, trains, a zoo, waterfalls, fountains -- the list goes on.
It was created by Laurence Gieringer, who died in 1963. It started out in his home in 1935 and then in the 1940s he bought land and built a warehouse to showcase his collection.
You can push buttons that activate trolleys, trains, animals and people. Every half hour the house lights go down to mimic nighttime, tiny village lights glow and a special "show" features "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America."
According to the site's brochure, some of the materials used in constructing the huge display include 10,000 handmade trees, 4,000 pounds of stone, 18,000 pounds of plaster, 21,500 feet of electrical wiring, 200 railroad cars and engines, 300 mini buildings, and 4,000 figures.
And that's just a small sampling.
Now it's for sale for $2.3 million. Anyone have that amount of spare change? Here are some photos to give you just a taste of what you'll see:
I hope you'll head out to this unique spot this summer, just in case things don't work out for the sale and the present owners decide to close. There's a gift shop next door, a cool antique store very close by and a convenient restaurant. If you're smart, don't head out Route 78 for your visit. Take the scenic route through Berks County. It's a pretty drive to this cool attraction.