And so the day came for Sal to return to public life and claim her exalted position as the Boardwalk's matron of mirth, greeting fun-seeking park-goers with her famous raucous cackle, as only she can.
May 27, 2005 was officially proclaimed "Laffing Sal Day" by Santa Cruz City Councilman Ryan Coonerty, who along with the Boardwalk staff, cheered Sal's premiere performance as she threw out the "First Laff" of the Boardwalk's 98th season.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the only major seaside amusement park on the West Coast, now becomes one of the only two American parks (with Pittsburgh's Kennywood) to feature a working original Laffing Sal.
Left: Sal meets the Boardwalk staff, escorted by archivist Bonnie Minford and technician Mark Hersey.
Left: Sal's display area at Neptune's Kingdom is decorated with images of her earlier home at Playland including information about her career and origins.
Another display features a history of the eight major amusement parks that once graced California's coast.
After the ceremony, Sal took her place in her new display enclosure at the entrance to Neptune's Kingdom, which, not coincidentally, is quite similar to the glass cubicle she occupied at the Playland funhouse. By preserving this hallmark of America's golden amusement heritage, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk affirms its distinction as a vibrant contemporary attraction balanced with strong historic values and regional sentiment.

Sal had finally reached the end of her journey from Playland to the Boardwalk, from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. It was a journey of some sixty miles that took over 30 years, but Sal made it, laffing all the way.
When you're in the Santa Cruz area, be sure to stop by the Boardwalk and
pay a visit to Sal.

It'll be "Laff" at first sight!

A big Thank You to all who
helped us to tell Sal's story:

Bonnie Minford, SCBB Archivist
Mark Hersey, SCBB F/X Technician
Julie Goldman Art Conservation
Kate McGuire

Photo Credits
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Mark Hersey
Julie Goldman
Bonnie Minford
Jim Ryan
Darrell Sarmento
Jan Olejnik - photos and video

Visit our article on
The History of Laffing Sal