Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunshine Springs, Florida - 1956

When I first found today's photos, I was certain that they were from Cypress Gardens, Florida - famous for their water skiing shows. But of course that little sign on the ramp tells us that this is actually Sunshine Springs! Sunshine Springs and Gardens in Sarasota opened in 1955, obviously trying to compete with the already established and successful Cypress Gardens, which had been around since 1936. They had a swan boat tour through 20 acres of lush gardens, and "aquabelles" performing on a 20 acre man-made lake.


There's something you don't see every day! A lady riding a (fake) white horse on water skis. Ooookay. This must have been the grand finale, since I've seen a souvenir flyer with this act on the cover. But they did have a real water skiing baby elephant!! Neither act was enough to keep Sunshine Springs in business; the park closed after just four years in 1959.


We'll always miss you, Sunshine Springs!

10 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

These are a hoot! That first photo reminds me of the album cover for the Go-Go's "Vacation":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GoGos-Vacation.jpg

Connie Moreno said...

While wacky, still cool!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

"Vacation all I ever wanted......"

Giddy-up Horsey on Water Skis??? Who thought of that & why?

Katella Gate said...

I suppose people were more easily entertained back then.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I was going to mention the Go-Gos, but I thought the reference might be too ancient!

Connie and VDT, the horsey on skis is definitely wacky.

Katella, this was before people had 30 second attention spans!

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh no, I'm ancient! I would lie and say I'm 18 and just happen to be into '80's pop music, but you know the truth.

Major Pepperidge said...

Ha ha, I vividly remember the Go-Gos during their initial fame, and always thought that "Vacation" was kind of a step down for them (even though the video was cute).

Nancy said...

Major, you said cute...love it!

these are great, somehow always remind me of childhood TV viewing when Ed Sullivan went on location in Florida

Chiana_Chat said...

Maybe that's Goldfrapp's grandma.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana - so THAT'S what that song is about! I like it even better now.