CARVER--Edaville Railroad will open for its full fall schedule Saturday, October 1 with appearances by Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, followed by a full slate of familiar and new activities and offerings to delight the throngs of people who visit the park.
This season’s familiar events, such as Thomas, the Cranberry Festival and the Festival of Lights will be joined by The Polar Express, Ghost Train and a Country Fair. (Click here for full schedule)
In the wake of a sale agreement that did not come to fruition, Edaville owner Jon Delli Priscoli decided several months ago to keep the park open for one more season through the ever popular holiday Festival of Lights.
Following that decision, other developments prompted him not only to take the park off of the market, but also to refurbish and improve Edaville USA while seeking opportunities to expand its offerings.
“After the initial sale fell through I decided to keep the park open for another season because for me, this park is a labor of love,” Priscoli said in a prepared statement.
“Meanwhile, I became involved in another business opportunity that brings great potential for cross marketing opportunities, and that prompted me to decide not only to keep Edaville, but to expand the offerings there as well,” he said
Priscoli was recently named a director and CEO of Cape Rail, Inc., which operates the Cape Cod Central Railroad and the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad.
Cape Cod Central is known for its popular dinner trains and other tourist train events, while Mass Coastal is primarily a freight line operating on the South Coast and on Cape Cod.
Ultimately, Priscoli and his new partners plan to expand tourist rail offerings to Fall River and New Bedford via the Mass Coastal line, which offers great opportunities for cross marketing promotions with Edaville USA.
New offerings at Edaville will also include an antiques show, slated for next year, to attract premier dealers from the Northeast and beyond. Priscoli, who is a director of the non-profit Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, has successfully produced a premier show at that venue for the last two years.
“At Edaville we anticipate seeing antiques lovers and their young children, who will have an opportunity to take in the age appropriate park offerings while the parents take in the antiques show,” he said.
Meanwhile, workers have been busy rerouting part of Edaville’s rail line so that the static rides the park offers can be grouped all together. There will be a new outdoor play area and new rides, including bumper cars.
There are also plans to bring in a small roller coaster and a Model T driving ride. The food service has also been upgraded, thanks to an arrangement with Carver’s own Little Red Smokehouse, which will provide its signature barbeque chicken and other delights for hungry patrons.
And of course, new paint, varnish, wider pathways and other cosmetic improvements will all be completed by the time the park opens on Oct. 1.
“This will be a great year for Edaville and I’m looking forward to seeing the smiling faces of the thousands of children and their parents, many of whom came here as kids themselves, when we open next month,” Priscoli said.