Remembering Dogpatch USA

My favorite theme park as a kid was Dogpatch USA. Located between Harrison and Jasper Arkansas on a steep and curvy highway, Dogpatch opened in 1968 and closed in 1993. A theme park featuring the comic strip characters of Al Capp. Lil Abner, Daisy Mae, The Shmoo and all the rest. It featured many thrilling rides, live shows, games, paddle boats, trout fishing and more cornball, hillbilly fun than you could shake a stick at. Even the tram ride from the parking lot down a very steep hill into the park was part of the appeal.

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There was a train, antique car rides, roller coasters, boat rides, a shooting gallery, hillbilly cabins, a petting zoo… Well you get the idea. It was a kid’s paradise to me and I would always look forward to summer trips there in the 70s and 80s.

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There is a great Facebook page dedicated to Dogpatch USA with hundreds of pictures of the theme park from its beginning to its current state.

My favorite rides were the Brain Rattler below,

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And the paddle boats.

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There were many special guests through the years including cartoon characters, super heroes, tv stars, wrestlers and even the General Lee car from The Dukes of Hazzard. If you want more info and pictures check out the Facebook page.

plcary

I love retro toys, television, movies and just about anything from the 70s and 80s.I frequent flea markets, thrift shops, garage sales and auctions hoping to nab my next pop culture trophy.

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3 thoughts on “Remembering Dogpatch USA

  1. Kurt says:

    Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, I was never able to experience Dogpatch. Even though the park is gone, at least Kikapoo Joy Juice is still around.

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