WHY Louisville and Lebowski Fest founder Will Russell made headlines early this year when he announced that he was moving beyond his efforts to keep just Louisville weird with his purchase of Guntown Mountain in Cave City. He plans to transform the roadside attraction—which for years has included rides and shops—into Funtown Mountain.
Russell released details of his plans for Fundtown Mountain on Wednesday. Here are the five things you need to know:
1. When is the Opening Date?
The “wickedly weird,” as it’s being marketed, attraction will officially open on June 19. Though the date was announced on April 1st, Russell promises that this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.
2. What’s Up With the Clown?
The clown sketch that has become the literal face of Funtown Mountain is actually inspired by a real clown bust acquired by Russell which is originally from Fontaine Ferry Park. Fontaine Ferry was an amusement park in West Louisville from 1905 to 1969. Located on 64 acres at the edge of the Ohio River, it offered over 50 rides and attractions, as well as a swimming pool, skating rink and theatre. The most popular attractions were its wooden roller coasters, of which four were built over the years.
3. How Did Will Oldham Influence the Park?
Louisville singer-songwriter Will Oldham, also known as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, served as a major inspiration for Russell. Russell, who has been open about his struggles with depression, went to a Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy concert after receiving treatment late last year.
“That night he [Oldham] dedicated a song to me at the end of a show, ‘I See A Darkness,’ which really spoke to me,” Russell said.
Right after that experience, Russell went for a walk in Cave City and saw that the Guntown Mountain’s Wild West road-side attraction was for sale. The potential loss of the attraction was devastating to Russell, so he decided right then that he would bring the park back to life as Funtown Mountain. Even the name Funtown Mountain is partially inspired by a Will Oldham album “Funtown Comedown.”
4. What Can You Do at Funtown Mountain?
During the main opening event on June 19, several attractions will be open including The Haunted Hotel, The Sky Lift, Puttin’ N Kentucky, Zippity Do Dah Zip Line, Funtown Souvenir Shack, Hillbilly Tea Shack, The Mega Boom Boom Box and carnival rides.
Between the fall of 2015 and 2016 additional attractions will open, including The Lucky Lady Saloon, Imagination Land Museum, The Kentucky Wondershow Theater, The Treetop Village, Lolley Land, The Mountaintop Amphitheater, Kentucky Rushmore, Funhouse Clown Palace, Yolo Coaster, Sunset Dragon and the Kraken Waterside.
5) What Does Funtown Mountain Look Like Right Now?
Here’s a video tour of Funtown Mountain:
Additional information about the amusement park can be found at Funtown Mountain’s website.