AURORA, Ohio - Another summer is winding down. In our area, something special about summers were our amusement parks; Cedar Point, Geauga Lake and Sea World. In late August, the days were dwindling to get to the parks (of course, we used to head back to school after Labor Day back in the good ole days not like today’s mid-August return to school).
Sea World was a fixture in Northeast Ohio. From 1970 to 2001, the marine life park was something special about our region.
The park in Aurora was the second of what would eventually be four parks. San Diego was home to the first, then Aurora, followed by Orlando and finally San Antonio. The Cleveland-area park was the only seasonal Sea World.
The seasonal nature of the Aurora facility made it necessary to transport some of the aquatic residents to and from warmer climates annually.
In our video player, there are two examples of the transporting of whales and other non-land-loving creatures.
First, WEWS anchor Roy Weissenger reports on a new Namu coming to Aurora in May, 1989. Weissenger tells us Namu was on loan for breeding purposes from a park in Brazil. A former Aurora Namu had been moved to Florida where she gave birth.
WEWS reporter Bill Younkin takes us to April, 1985 for the arrival of Shamu and Namu. Younkin talks to kids on hand for the special arrival.
In 1985, before the park opened for the season, a fundraising event for the Cleveland Ballet took place, I’ve added a few shots from that and finally some edited footage from the April, 1985 arrival.
Sea World Aurora footage has been a part of the Video Vault since I began posting old archive footage in 2010. However, since the CNN documentary “Blackfish” looked into the training and treatment of whales, some commenters on our Facebook page have asked we not glorify Sea World.
I post these clips only to be fond memories from another era in our area’s history, not as a commentary on the Sea World of today.