Years ago, when older folks of today were enjoying their youth, there was a thrilling place to go not far away from St. Charles Parish on Lake Pontchartrain.
Youngsters and adults spent many a day there enjoying the beach scenery, the rides and games that enlivened their activity and socializing with friends and strangers who were sharing the fun.
It was Pontchartrain Beach where one could stretch out on the golden sand and watch their kids swim in the lake or take to the water themselves. For many years, it was one of the liveliest spots in the metropolitan area.
But it didn’t last so lively.
Hard times came about in the economy and it closed in 1983 after 44 years due to dwindling profits. It has been at a standstill closed to the public ever since.
Just last week, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East agreed to lease the property, located just north of the UNO Research and Technology Park, to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation for a year initially.
The foundation hopes to turn it into a successful attraction that once again will enliven the lives of our population.Who could resist the temptations of riding on the Zephyr scenic-railway and Wild Maus and enjoying the rhythms of Fats Domino and Elvis Presley who played there during their popularity?
And there were places to dine at like Bali Ha’i restaurant.But the hope is still somewhat of a dream though plans are being made to bring it into reality.
The foundation wants to restore the sand on the beach to make it an enjoyable place to relax and play games like only a beach-front paradise can produce.
Also, it plans to clean up the water bottom on the lake front and renovate a pier on the site.
Hopes are to make such improvements within a year so the public can begin enjoying Pontchartrain Beach again next summer.
Of course, it won’t right away be like it was when it was a successful lake front resort during the mid-20th century. It may take awhile to restore the thrills galore that existed there then.
But hopefully, Pontchartrain Beach is on its way back. And it will help us restore life again in an exciting way.