California’s Great America is the perfect place to find find fun and adventure, but did you know some have also found love here in the park? In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to highlight some of the sweet couples that have met here at Great America. Some met as employees, and others were park guests, and many of them are married with kids today. It’s amazing to see the love that has grown from the park!
One of those couples, Dawn and Rick Barraza, have been together for 42 years. Just a few shorts years after Great America first opened, Dawn and Rick both had their first summer jobs at the park. It all started in the summer of 1976, when Great America first opened. Rick Barraza was a high school student who worked for the foods department. One year later, Dawn Barraza (Wilber) started her summer job as a host at a restaurant in the park.
The two future love birds often saw each other around the park, but had never spoken. The pair had a friend who tried to set them up several times, and finally agreed. They had their first date on June 23, 1977, and have been together ever since. They married five years later, and went on to have two daughters. Dawn loves to share memories about the special time when she and Rick both worked at the park with their family and says, “It was the best high school job ever. There were so many fun memories made.”
Happy Valentine’s Day to Dawn and Rick, and to all the couples who #metatgreatamerica!