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Competition Heats Up Among Amusement Parks

One sure sign that spring has set in and that summer is close on its heels is the opening of Amusement Parks such as Helsinki's Linnanmäki. On Friday, the family entertainment centre opened its rides to herald the start of the 2008 season.

Linnanmäki first opened its gates on Whit Sunday back in 1950. As the oldest amusement park in Finland, Linnanmäki celebrates 59 years of providing amusing and hair-raising experiences for the young and not-so-young. This year, park operator The Children's Day Foundation, hopes to generate about three million euros. The Foundation collects fund for child welfare work.

Parks Face Tough Times

Managing Director Risto Räikkönen says hitting the numbers has become more difficult from year to year, as competition has forced its owners to re-invest more of its profits into new rides and attractions to keep visitors coming.

Future development plans include a proposal to convert the park's distinctive water tower into a multi-purpose facility where events such as rock concerts can be staged.

As part of opening events for the 2008 season, a 30-year anniversary production of "Ten Sketches that Changed the World" will be put on by the members of the "Uusi Iloinen Teatteri". The comedy extravaganza will be staged at the park's Peacock Theatre.

Särkäniemi Amusement Park in Tampere and the Powerpark in Härmä will launch their seasons on May Day (Vappu). Others will open during the course of the month of May.

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