CONEY ISLAND - Coney Island?s Astroland kicked off its annual season Sunday for what fans hope is not the last time.

Excitement with a twinge of apprehension filled the air as patrons filled the park. There has been a constant battle to keep the amusement park open after the land was bought by Thor Equities, which has other plans for it. However, Astroland?s lease was extended for one more year in a deal between the developer and owner.

For Brooklyn native Erik Knapp, Astroland is a tradition. He said he?s been the first in line to ride the Cyclone for the past four years in a row. ?It brings back my childhood,? Knapp said. ?I grew up in Brooklyn, and we don't have much left in the amusement district, but I?m hoping that's gonna change in the next few years.?

Many who turned out for opening day said they did so not only for the fun and entertainment, but its history as well. ?I'm just ready to ride the Cyclone and eat lots of Nathan?s,? said tourist George Culbertson.

Astroland will be open to the public on weekends until Memorial Day. After that, it will be open every day.

Astroland.com