The Boardwalk’s Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach concert series is a nostalgic summer tradition featuring bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s. It hasn’t always been that way. When the idea for a band series was first presented in 1988, the Boardwalk had an internal policy prohibiting live music on the bandstand.
Beginning in 1916 and enduring over a half-century, the Boardwalk’s Independence Day fireworks show crowned each summer season’s festivities. Huge crowds arrived to observe the holiday’s spectacular aerial display that some called the grandest in the State.
Skip Littlefield was a character in the best sense of the word. He not only planned and executed amazing Boardwalk spectacles and stunts over four successful decades, he also promoted the events using an impressive set of advertising and PR skills.
Skip also served as the Boardwalk's first historian, a pursuit of love, not duty. With meticulous attention to detail, he collected, cataloged and filed memories, facts, and anecdotes. Skip's files became the source of the Seaside Company's archives.
The Boardwalk’s iconic Giant Dipper is 95 years young on May 17, 2019. This blog recounts the little-known history of our roller coaster’s origin and the dismal economic ups-and-downs of its initial decade of operation that almost provoked its proprietor to remove it from the Boardwalk.
Until it closed in 1972, Playland at the Beach in San Francisco was considered the Boardwalk’s sister seaside amusement park. I recall seeing Laffing Sal at Playland in her Fun House perch where her maniacal laugh could be heard throughout the amusement park and probably for blocks away.
There's a lot more to the saga of Laffing Sal!