LUBBOCK, Texas — Joyland Amusement Park will conclude their 48th season on Labor Day with their first ever food truck festival – donating a portion of the proceeds to the Texas Boys Ranch.
The park has experienced some challenges this year. After they were forced to close due to Covid-19 in March and then again due to severe storm damage in July, it has been a rollercoaster of a season both for Joyland and the Lubbock community.
“That knocked us out two weeks, as we repaired and cleaned up from storm damage, and we reopened around mid July, and things have gone well since then,” said Joyland owner David Dean.
However, Dean said that he’s looking forward to one more final day of fun, while giving back to the community.
“It’ll make us feel so good especially to be helping the Boys Ranch people,” said Dean. “We want to provide people with great memories, show them a good time where they come out with their families and friends. And they can get away from everything that’s going on, they can have a great day.”
While they were closed, the park lost a lot of business. Dean credited his staff for their teamwork in coming together to to overcome the challenges they faced. Still, Dean said that they wouldn’t be where they are today without the support of the Lubbock community.
“We let the community know, our struggles, and they went to bat for us,” said Dean. “So it was really kind of the community that helped us out this time. You know, they wrote letters to politicians, they bought enjoyment cards, they made sure that we stayed around, and were ready to re-open when the time came.”
Park-goers said that they have enjoyed spending time and making memories with their families at Joyland.
“Instead of going out somewhere else and being boring you just come out here and have fun, and that what I’m going to miss about it. Just coming out here with family,” said Corny Loewen, a Joyland guest.
Dean explained that they decided to use their final weekend to give back to the community – which is what inspired their food truck festival and donation to Texas Boys Ranch.
“We’re all kind of pitching together to help out the Texas Boys Ranch because I know those guys, just like small businesses and a lot of other people have really suffered during these times,” said Dean. “So we felt like it was the least we could do to try to help those folks out as well.”
The end of the season is always bittersweet for Joyland, but Dean said despite all the difficulties this year has posed, he is grateful for all the support the Lubbock community has give the park.
“We’ll miss the smiles. We’ll miss the smell of cotton candy and the smell of popcorn. But especially will miss the kids in the smile, that’s for sure. But it’ll all we really look forward to seeing everyone out tomorrow,” said Dean. “We just really appreciate the support the Lubbock community has given toward us, got us through these times. It just makes us feel – it’s really heartwarming.”