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5/22/2015 - TODAY: Preview the Pleasure Beach Historic Walking Tour Before Official Opening on This Weekend (11:00AM)

“Last year, when Pleasure Beach reopened, thousands of people discovered the beautiful white sands right here in Bridgeport. With the beginning of the summer season beginning this weekend, I invite kids and families in Bridgeport and across the region to come enjoy Pleasure Beach. It’s a little piece of Nantucket right here in Bridgeport, Conn.” –Mayor Bill Finch

  • WHAT: Preview of the historic walking tour at Pleasure Beach .
  • WHEN: Friday, May 22, 2015, at 11 a.m.
  • WHERE: Water taxis will transport media from the dock on Central Avenue near Seaview Avenue to Pleasure Beach.

Bridgeport, Connecticut (May 22, 2015) – On Friday, Bridgeport will give media a preview of the latest addition to the attractions at Pleasure Beach. The new historic walking tour consists of 24 beautiful plaques that chronologically showcase the peninsula's history. Click here to view the Pleasure Beach History Tour online: http://www.bridgeportbettereveryday.com/historical/.

The city will debut the historic walking tour to the public when the park opens this Saturday and is offering the media a preview in advance.

Pleasure Beach has a storied history from serving as home to an amusement park built by Coney Island famed George C. Tilyou, to housing a baseball field owned by Hall of Famer James O’Rourke, to being visited by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, to holding concerts for famous musicians like Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra.

In 2014, the city reopened the park to the public for the first time in nearly two decades.

“Last year, when Pleasure Beach reopened, thousands of people discovered the beautiful white sands right here in Bridgeport. With the beginning of the summer season this weekend, I invite kids and families in Bridgeport and across the region to come enjoy Pleasure Beach. It’s a little piece of Nantucket right here in Bridgeport, Conn.,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

Bridgeport took ownership of Pleasure Beach in 1892. It served as home to a nationally acclaimed amusement park and ballroom for the first half of the 20th century. But fires and declining visitor numbers put the amusement park out of business in 1966.

The barrier island continued to go from periods of revival and decay until Father’s Day of 1996 when the bridge to Pleasure Beach set ablaze. The bridge was deemed unusable after the fire, and Pleasure Beach remained inaccessible. But last year Mayor Finch restored access to the barrier island after nearly two decades of neglect.