After three decades, Six Flags New England retires Cyclone - WNEM TV 5

After three decades, Six Flags New England retires Cyclone

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Sunday, it was the end of an era for a major attraction: a Six Flags New England roller coaster that was likely older than the majority of the people lined up to give it one last ride.

It was not your typical retirement party, but there was cake.

Six Flags bid farewell to Cyclone, holding a ceremonial last ride at noon.

Officials said retirement was not an easy decision.

"Six Flags New England did not wake up one day and decide to close it," said Jennifer McGrath, the park's communications manager. "It's been over one and a half years in the making, this very important decision. Within its 31 years, we've had over 15 million riders."

The invite-only last ride featured people who have given more than 200 cumulative years of community service to the region.

One retired firefighter said that he rode cyclone in the first year it opened in 1983.

He said this does not necessarily have to be the end.

"I hope they do something with the coaster or with the wood," said Dick Marceau. "Maybe a little charity event or something, cut up pieces and put plaques on it for charity. I think that would be a great touch."

Also riding on Sunday were members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts.

While there are newer and scarier coasters out there today, one member said Cyclone will always be special.

"Being one of the first five coasters I've been on, it's something dear to my heart," said Bill Griswold.  "It's been an exciting ride.  Really sad to see it go, but I'm kind of looking forward to what's coming in the future."

As for that future, officials will not give away too many details, except to say it is going to be big.

"New England Skyscreamer came this year," said McGrath. "We had Goliath, we had Bonzai in the last couple of years. This is bigger and better than all of that."

The park's major announcement will take place on Aug. 28 at 7 a.m.

McGrath said it will grab the attention of people from across the world.

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