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Protesters rally to save Newport Fun Zone amusement park

November 6, 2011 |  1:57 pm

The Balboa Fun Zone was alive Saturday with high school students — and a few adults — rallying to save the area's charm.

More than 50 students, mostly from Corona del Mar High School, waved protest signs and collected signatures on a petition to preserve the Balboa Fun Zone as the open house for the upcoming ocean-themed educational and entertainment center ExplorOcean — which is slated to replace a portion of the Fun Zone — went on.

"I think it's a cool attraction, but this isn't the place for it," junior Courtney Brown, 16, who organized the rally told the Daly Pilot. "We don't want new and shiny. It will take away the charm."

The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum plans show one block of the Fun Zone area, around where the carousel used to be, built into a three-story, ocean-themed museum with an extended dock for the Ferris wheel and a new children's play center.

Students held signs that said "Keep our Culture Alive," "Leave our Fun Zone Alone," and "Don't Harm Our Charm," and tried to talk to, and pass out fliers, to passersby. The students collected more than 90 signatures Saturday afternoon.


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--Britney Barnes, Times Community News

Photo: Students from Newport Harbor, Mater Dei and Corona del Mar high schools protest in support of keeping the Balboa Fun Zone the way it is. (KEVIN CHANG, Daily Pilot / November 5, 2011)