“The Sweetest Place on Earth”

My first visit to Hershey, PA was in 1966; I went with my guardian on one of her conference trips.  We stayed at the Cocoa Inn which was where the conference was being held.  It was a four story building with several banquet/conference rooms as well as a full-service dining room and a cafeteria.

Across the street from the hotel was the Hershey Chocolate factory, which offered daily guided tours.  The tour guides led groups through a lengthy wood and chicken wire catwalk suspended above the factory room floor.  The most spectacular view was of the conching room where the smell of chocolate was overwhelming.  At the end of the tour, guests were given a small packet of full-size samples of their products.

In the factory parking lot was a monorail station that offered free rides over to Hershey Park.  Back then the park was free except for the rides.  The ride tickets were 5 cents each and onlyone was necessary for most of the kiddie rides at the park. My favorite ride was the twin Ferris wheels at the center of the park.  I was also very fond of the antique carousel and the sky view ride.  I could never summon the courage to ride the park’s wooden roller coaster which zipped along at what seemed to be reckless speed; the Comet always seemed way too fast for me.

The Ferris wheel is long gone, having been replaced by newer versions as the park grew larger. The carousel is still offering rides while its organ plays on, but from Carousel Circle where it stands as the centerpiece.

We also made a visit to the Hershey Inn to see the Hershey Rose Gardens and Arboretum.  They were quite pretty, but all you could smell was the chocolate that permeated the town.


About Julirose

Amateur word arranger, avid number cruncher, and science fiction and fantasy enthusiast.
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