Passenger Lanes: Central Park Bowling Alley is a Popular Spot among Tourists, Airport Community

May 24, 2011

By Cary Shuman

Passengers arriving at Boston’s Logan International Airport are only five minutes away from participating in one of the region’s most popular pastimes.

Central Park Lanes on Saratoga Street in East Boston is home to candlepin bowling, a sport that is played mostly in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and parts of Canada.

Tourists from all over the world have stopped by the famous establishment owned by the Vozzella family and bowled a few games.

“We get tourists here all the time that have heard about candlepin bowling and wanted to try it,” said Central Park Lanes proprietor Chuck Vozzella, son of the late Angelo Vozzella who founded the business 61 years ago. “Most of the people are used to ten-pin, but they seem to like candlepin bowling.”

Vozzella said the differences in rules between candlepin and ten-pin bowling are that bowlers get three rolls per frame in candlepins and the felled pins remain on the alleys. A former professional bowler and amateur baseball star who played on the same high school team with former Red Sox pitcher John Tudor, Vozzella  provides free instruction to first-time bowlers.

Vozzella said he enjoys welcoming tourists to his establishment.

“If someone has a few hours before their flight, we’d love to have them come over and try candlepin bowling,” said Vozzella. “It’s a good, fun, healthy activity.”

The cost for one string (game) of bowling is $2.50 before 5 p.m. The rental fee for a pair of bowling shoes is $1.50.

“We’re the least expensive place around,” said Vozzella. “We’re still old-fashioned with our scoring sheets and don’t use the computer scoring machines.”

So why not take a roll over to nearby Central Park Lanes and get a true taste of candlepin bowling at its finest.

(Central Park Lanes is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.).