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Historic Hoosier Toboggan Run Opens for the Season

The upcoming Thanksgiving weekend will bring a lot of American traditions together: turkey, good cheer, football, shopping.

But a uniquely Hoosier tradition will also start up again this Friday at a northeastern Indiana park.

Pokagon State Park's Toboggan Run will open for the season this Friday -- with or without snow.

The original slide was built in 1935, but when it began to deteriorate in the 1970s, a new thirty foot tower and twin track took its place.

Refrigeration was added to the operation to keep the slide sled-ready, even when temperatures rise above freezing.

Park Interpreter Fred Wooley says that key improvement made Pokagon's Toboggan Run a distinctive Hoosier treasure.

"You know, you look outside now and see kind of a grey sky and kind of brownish grass, and you just don't think about going sledding, but that's certainly the case," Wooley said. "It doesn't happen anywhere else in Indiana; it only happens one other place in the whole Midwest."

For the record, with all of the dips and valleys, the total vertical drop is 90 feet, and the top recorded speed is now 42 miles per hour.

You can find out about all of Pokagon State Park's winter activities at their website.

A Fort Wayne native, Julia is a radio host, graphic artist, and community volunteer, who has contributed to NIPR both on- and off-air for forty years. Besides being WBOI's arts & culture reporter, she currently co-produces and hosts Folktales and Meet the Music.
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