The City of Revere officials led by Mayor Brian Arrigo will commemorate the 125th birthday of Revere Beach on Monday.
Yes, it was on July 12, 1896 – more than 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was issued and the United States of America became a nation – that Revere Beach became the first public beach in the country.
The Beach landscape has undergone many transformations since that time, none greater than today as spectacular residences have risen on the Boulevard and Ocean Avenue and new residents move into a city that has prospered greatly under the leadership of Arrigo.
Everyone has his/her favorite memory of Revere Beach. Some residents will remember the Frolic Night Club where some of the country’s most famous singers and comedians performed. Others will recall the great amusements and rides that were situated on the Boulevard such as The Cyclone, The Lightning Roller Coaster, The Virginia Reel, The Wild Mouse, The Ferris Wheel, the Roundup, and the Dodgems (bumper cars).
Candlepin bowlers will remember the Nautical Lanes, with a downstairs miniature golf course featuring the steep 18th hole honoring the Statue of Liberty. Pinball enthusiasts will tell you about the great variety of games inside Sandy’s Arcade, including Skeeball and PAC-MAN.
You wanted a great sandwich, slice of pizza, or hot dog? How about the incredible pizza at Bill Ash, Anna’s, or Bianchi’s, the sizzling pepper steak sandwich at Rudolph’s, or the succulent hot roast beef sandwich at Kelly’s (where it all began 70 years ago), or the fantastic foot-long hot dog at Danny’s.
On the momentous occasion of the 125th anniversary, Revere City Councillors Steven Morabito and Patrick Keefe were among the many residents recalling their childhood visits to Revere Beach.
“My mom [Josephine Morabito] used to take us down the beach since I can remember, when I was 4-5 years old,” recalled Morabito. “We grew up on Florence Avenue and she used to walk all four of us – my brother, my two sisters, and me – down Centennial Avenue and to the Beach, and we’d spend the whole day there and eat lunch – those are great memories. We used to sit right by the old Anna’s Pizza. There were no amusement rides there when I was growing up, but they had the little steering ship at the playground. It was just a great place to enjoy the whole day with family.”
Keefe, who grew up in Everett before making Revere his home where he now lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Arianna and Patrick III, said the Beach was synonymous with hot summer days and nights and fun times during his pre-teen and teenage years.
“Driving up Beach Street as you started to see the beach skyline always gave me great memories, said Keefe. “My family, like most, would head to the Beach on summer nights to cool off, grab an ice cream, enjoy a slice of pizza at Bianchi’s or a roast beef sandwich at Kelly’s and maybe feed some seagulls a French fry.
“As I entered my teenage years, heading to the Beach to show off your vehicle’s sound system was a rite of passage,” continued Keefe. “And now as an adult, the Beach is a great recreational space to bring your family. It’s truly one of the North Shore’s greatest gems. We have an amazing waterfront right at our doorstep and I am so grateful to call our Beach City home.”
(The Revere Journal would like to hear your favorite memories of Revere Beach. Please email them to Journal President Stephen Quigley at [email protected] and we’ll publish them on these pages during July and August).