CONNEAUT LAKE - The Blue Streak, Conneaut Lake Park's well known, historic roller coaster, won Pepsi Cola's Refresh Project $50,000 grant on Wednesday.
The Blue Streak finished first in Pepsi's Refresh Project contest.
During the contest, people could go online and vote for the Blue Streak. The contest was similar to Coca-Cola's recent competition where residents could vote online for their favorite park. In that contest, Oil Creek State Park, south of Titusville, finished in third place.
According to Jack Moyers, a trustee at Conneaut Lake Park, Pepsi did not say how many votes the Blue Streak received.
“But [the Blue Streak] did finish first in the category of arts and culture,” Moyers said. “I'm pretty excited.”
Moyers said the grant money will be used for restoration of the wooden coaster.
“We will continue to work on the track, the structure and the train cars and the continued operation of that ride,” he added.
The Blue Streak has been sitting idle since 2006.
However, park officials announced that the coaster reopened for riders on Thursday afternoon.
The Blue Streak will be open for riders to enjoy this Labor Day weekend, as well.
“We'd like for people to come out this weekend and enjoy the Blue Streak and the park,” Moyers said.
The Blue Streak was built in 1938 and is one of only two of the Ed Vettel-designed coasters still standing.
The reopening of the coaster carries value beyond the thrills of its 77-ft. high, 2,900-ft. long structure. It signifies the preservation of the park, a place where friends, fun and family time are the priority.
American Coaster Enthusiasts recognize the Blue Streak as an ACE Rollercoaster Landmark; a designation reserved for rides of historic significance.