Charles Dickens nailed it when he wrote, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." If only he was referring to the old Big Top that once provided Fall River with fun and regret.

For those who are unfamiliar with Big Top, it was considered a Chuck E. Cheese knockoff. The family fun center that once called the Fall River Shopping Center its home is long gone and nothing but a distant memory.

I don't normally bad-mouth local businesses, but since Big Top is no longer with us and hasn't been for a long time, it's safe to say that memories of Big Top were either good or bad, often times both.

If you're familiar with the Fall River Shopping Center, Big Top was next door to a KB Toys and is currently where Harbor Freight Tools is located.

If by chance you were born in the 80's or 90's, you might have had your birthday party there. I had my birthday party there somewhere around five or six years old. I'd be lying if I told you the pizza was gross, because if given the chance, I could have devoured an entire pie by myself. As for the cake, every party I've ever attended there, it was like biting into asphalt, hard as a rock. I often passed on a slice when offered.

The sounds and screams from children running amuck back and forth, from game to game, was only drowned out whenever the creepy animatronic band began playing on stage—don't even get me started on that. The demonic robots were the stuff of which nightmares are made. I honestly can't remember a time when they were actually fully functional and not breaking down mid-performance. I'll never forget how disturbing their voices were, as if their batteries were constantly running low, even though I think they were plugged in, making it all the more creepy.


-Ball Pit (crushed by another kid, always stunk like urine)

-Whack-an-Alligator (so dirty), short chain on hammer made it impossible

-Clowns were demonic looking

-Animatronic animals on stage always malfunctioned, made of nightmares, musicians

-Cake was rock hard

-The smell


-Not much to do in Fall River growing up, was better than nothing

-Pizza was really good

-Candy Claw machine (won every time, always glitched for extra plays)

-Ball Pit (despite the aforementioned urine smell)

-Free tokens for good grades on your report card

-Grandma always taking me

-The Ferris Wheel ride (seemed big at the time)/rocket that went up and down

-Ball toss in Big Bertha's mouth

-Bug stump (crunch)

-Next door to KB Toys

-The place to have a birthday

What do you remember? The good times or the bad times at Big Top?

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