Other Attractions

Not only did Billy Burke create many of the same rides out of toothpicks that you would find in an old-time carnival from the not-too-distant past but he also created all the other attractions that would have been found in those carnivals. These attractions were as much a part of Burke’s vision and fantasy as the rides were.

Entrance to Playland

Entrance to Playland

This is the entrance to the Playland carnival being displayed here in 1984. The details are seen in things such as the turn-style exits that mimic those of real carnivals. This entrance features two separate entrances and two turn-style exits.

Wishing Well in Playland

Wishing Well in Playland

The outside bottom of the Wishing Well is adorned with flowers while the inside is filled halfway with water. Notice the benches nearby with onlookers seated on them. Also notice the small red strollers in the bottom right corner of the picture.

Dancing Girls in Playland

Dancing Girls in Playland

Ok guys, check out the dancing girls on stage. Notice the ticket booth to the right of the stage inviting folks to purchase a ticket to come inside. We’re not sure how the carnival planning commission allowed dancing girls in a family amusement park but we suspect Burke must have twisted some arms! If you look just a few feet back from the stage you will see a man selling balloons.

Hot Dog Stand in Playland

Hot Dog Stand in Playland

Lest he be accused of not considering all the needs of the patrons that visit Playland, Burke made sure to build a hot dog stand. And not to be outdone by hot dogs, burgers also made a debut as evidenced by the "Burke’s Burgers" sign atop the dog-grilling structure.

Organ Grinder in Playland

Organ Grinder in Playland

No carnival would be complete without an Organ Grinder. When watching this carnival in action you will notice that the monkey actually jumps up and down as the man turns the grinder handle. You can see this in action by checking out the videos page and watching the video with the caption "Fairgrounds Interview - Playland". Just to the left of the Organ Grinder you can see the ticket booth for the Merry-go-Round.

Musical Stage in Playland

Musical Stage in Playland

Wanting to keep the mood upbeat and festive, Burke also included a Musical Stage in Playland. Visible is a drummer, a piano player and even a vocalist. And what's a concert without an audience? Facing the stage are several benches with fans listening in. To the right of the stage is the Merry-go-Round and to the left is the "Guess-your-weight" booth complete with prizes for the lucky ones whose weight couldn’t be guessed. The Tunnel of Love is in the back.

Shooting Gallery in Playland

Shooting Gallery in Playland

What you see here is the Shooting Gallery, complete with customers and curious onlookers. It’s pretty dark in there but if you could see inside you would see various targets popping up and moving across the back of the gallery. You can see the shooting gallery in action by going to the videos page and watching the "Fairgrounds Interview - Playland" video.

Penny Arcade in Playland

Penny Arcade in Playland

Shown here, the Penny Arcade is filled with arcade games to keep the whole family entertained for hours. And from the number of people you can see standing around inside and just outside of this arcade, it is very popular. Look closely and you can see a ceiling fan and hanging light fixtures, giving this a very realistic look to it. The pinball machines even have flashing lights!

Shooting Gallery in Toothpick Fantasy

Shooting Gallery in Toothpick Fantasy

This Shooting Gallery is part of the miniature carnival "Toothpick Fantasy" which can be seen at Musee Mecanique museum on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. It features targets moving across the back of the gallery. There are a couple of shooters firing away at the ducks! Wonder what they’ll win!

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