TIPTON – A key destination for many families during summer and especially on the Fourth of July is DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton.
This patriotic holiday draws thousands to the park for its Fourth of July Summer Thunder display of fireworks provided by Rozzi Fireworks of Ohio.
This year’s theme is “Red, White & You: A Salute to America’s Workforce.”
A musical pre-show for the free fireworks show is at 9 p.m. with the fireworks starting at 10 p.m.
A musical score for the show can be heard on Froggy 98.1 FM radio and if you are unable to be on site, you can watch on WTAJ-TV.
All of the rides will be closed during the display with some reopening after the show.
DelGrosso’s, an Italian-themed park features over 30 rides and attractions as well as the popular Laguna Splash Water Park, which has a lazy river, wave pool, replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a Roman Splash Bucket and more.
During the summer, the park hosts other special events as well as Spaghetti Wednesdays, an Italian Food and Heritage Festival and Harvestfest in September.
Originally known as Bland’s Park, rides were first used at that location during a carnival on the grounds of the Bland Farm in 1907.
Later Fred Bland “opened the park, which consisted of a small dance floor and a picnic grove,” according to the Web site on the park’s history.
The park was sold to George Rinhard in 1928. He added more rides, a bowling alley and roller-skating rink.
It was in 1946 when the DelGrosso family got involved.
“Altoona railroader Fred DelGrosso believed that he and his wife, Mafalda, could give new life to the park.”
Indeed, the couple oversaw many improvements including new adult and kiddie rides, concession stands and restrooms.
Mafalda and Fred discovered people loved their pasta sauce, which was from an “old-world” recipe brought to the United States by Mafalda’s mother, Marianna Pulcino.
In 1951, they built a small “cooking room” behind the park to mass produce the sauce.
Today their sauce is still made at the factory located near the park.
As they years passed, the DelGrosso family continued to make improvements including new rides, an elaborate concession stand and gift shop.
In 1997 came the Tipton Waterworks, and two years later the Tipton Rapids. The water park expansion continued in 2016 when the Laguna Splash Water Park opened.
It wasn’t until 2000 that the park’s name was changed to DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.
Any trip to DelGrosso’s Amusement Park should include a stop at the many delicious food stands named for family members including Pappy Fred’s Pizzeria, Marianna’s Hoagies and Murf’s Kitchen. As a matter of fact, the park is known for having “America’s Best Amusement Park Food.”
The marriage of the park and the sauce is easily seen on the DelGrosso sauce labels, which feature a coupon for savings on the cost of a ride pass for the park. Additional information on the park including discounts and ways to purchase passes online is available at mydelgrossopark.com and on their Facebook page.