Monday, January 26, 2009

Lakemont Park Update

If you ever visit a novelty shop in the state of Pennsylvania, you may encounter a line of T-shirts claiming that our residents enjoy four seasons: "Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction". There may be more than a grain of truth to this longstanding joke, but fortunately our friends at Lakemont Park in Altoona stand to benefit from it!

Lakemont's annual "Holiday Lights on the Lake" event wrapped up just a few short weeks ago, and the park was pleased to inform us that 2008 marked the most successful year in the event's 12-year history. Holiday Lights on the Lake--a drive-through attraction featuring fifty-one acres of twinkling lights and animated displays--has become a central PA tradition, and boy does it draw the crowds! More than 26,000 vehicles visited Lakemont between Thanksgiving and New Year's to enjoy this spectacle, which was made possible through the support of 135 corporate sponsors.

But wait... Did somebody say "construction"? No, Lakemont Park is not erecting a hypercoaster, or any other type of coaster for that matter! It will, however, be a beneficiary of an ongoing, multi-year construction project aimed at widening the road which runs parallel to the park, appropriately named "Park Avenue". This massive effort, scheduled to be completed by 2010, will transform the existing two-lane road into a five-lane road and will certainly alleviate some traffic congestion in the area. All of the homes which formerly sat across Park Avenue from Lakemont have been purchased and demolished in order to make way for the widened thoroughfare.

Below is an aerial view of Lakemont and the surrounding area [apparently Mike's Live Local obsession is contagious!] that shows the location of the road which has gone under the knife. Park Avenue runs right down the middle, while Lakemont Park and Blair County Ballpark (home of the Altoona Curve minor league baseball team) sit to the left.