There are certain emotions that are wonderful and almost impossible to put into words. Falling in love for the first time … holding your newborn child … your lifelong favorite team winning the Super Bowl for the first time ever.
Now, close your eyes and try to recapture the feeling from childhood just before you walked through the gates of a carnival, circus or amusement park. It certainly ranks right up there.
There was a magical feeling of anticipation mixed with a happy mystery. You remembered your favorite rides and games and couldn’t decide which was the first you were going to do. And you didn’t know what new ones might have been invented, what new things a circus might bring to town.
The sensory stimulation was almost too much to handle – the sounds, sights, aromas, even the air had a unique quality to it. It was one of the few times in life that having things coming at you from all sides couldn’t have been happier.
I’m one of those people who grows a little melancholy when something happy draws to a close, but at those places, the only thing you felt at the end of the day was a magnificent exhaustion. Kind of like celebrating a Super Bowl victory.
Here’s a gallery of vintage photos from amusement parks, fairs and circuses in New Jersey. Don’t see one of your favorite places to visit? Check these links to previous galleries.