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Kennywood announces multi-year, multi-million dollar improvement plan

by Brittani Tuttle

Kennywood has announced plans for major, multi-million-dollar improvements to the park, along with a lineup of special events to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

Kennywood

While the anniversary isn’t until 2023, the park will begin celebrating in 2022. Plans include enhancing the guest experience, refreshing landmark locations, and more.

“The restoration of the iconic Kangaroo and launch of our smashingly successful Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival is just the beginning,” said Mark Pauls, Kennywood and Sandcastle general manager. “In 2022, we look to build off those big wins with eye-catching updates all over the park while retaining what makes Kennywood, Kennywood. Add in a bigger and better than ever events lineup, and we expect to make next season our best yet.”

During a special event held at the park on Thursday, Dec. 16, Kennywood showcased some of the plans, with concept renderings of locations slated for refurbishment, including the park’s entrance plaza and main gate, as well as the Old Mill and Jack Rabbit queue areas. Food and beverage options will receive significant enhancements, including a redesigned Beer Garden area.

Kennywood

As work on the full-scale repainting of the Phantom’s Revenge and Thunderbolt roller coasters near completion, park leadership has announced plans for similar off-season painting projects on the roller coasters Jack Rabbit and Racer. The Kangaroo’s all-new look and LED lighting package (chosen in a community vote last month) was also revealed. Every part of the park will be impacted by the increased emphasis on landscaping to create a more vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. More details will be shared in the months to come.

Also debuting in 2022 is a lineup of special events, including:

  • April 23 – May 22: The 2022 Season begins with a locally-inspired springtime food and music festival that will run Saturdays and Sundays through May 22;
  • May 26 – June 26: May 26 marks the start of Kennywood’s daily operating schedule and the beginning of the second annual Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival. Menus featuring some of 2021’s most popular offerings with new lineups inspired by different ethnic cuisines. Bites and Pints will also expand from three days a week to four, running from Thursday-Sunday with live entertainment daily;
  • July 1-4: Longtime favorite Celebrate America explodes onto the scene with the return of nightly fireworks, the Weiner 100 dachshund races, and more patriotic performances;
  • July 5-31: An all-new summertime event will provide extra activities for kids and families, plus showcase the unique magic of Kennywood Park after dark with special evening entertainment and high-energy music under the lights (stay tuned!);
  • Aug. 6-21: The 72nd annual Fall Fantasy Parades march back into Kennywood, with nearly 200 high school and college bands performing each night;
  • Sept. 23 – Oct. 30: Phantom Fall Fest returns for a second season, with the ability to Play All Day, Fright All Night more than ever before; and
  • Nov. 18 – Jan. 1: More than one million lights sparkle and shine at Holiday Lights — Pittsburgh’s Home for the Holidays — with expanded hours and entertainment on the way.

Guests can now vote on concepts to transform a blank wall bordering the Jack Rabbit’s queue into a display that celebrates past and present parts of the park. Each visitor can vote once per day at Kennywood.com/125-Celebration until Christmas Eve.

“From the minute you pull into our parking lot until you head through the tunnel to go home, you’ll find striking new theming and details inspired by the 12+ decades of timeless fun found here,” said Pauls. “The is Pittsburgh’s Playground, and we look forward to receiving more community input to inform ongoing upgrades to Kennywood for 2022 and future seasons.”

To bring it all together to celebrate 125 years, Kennywood is offering discounted Gold Season Passes for just $125 for a limited time. Gold Passes offer a full year of fun for 2022, plus free admission for the remaining nights of Holiday Lights, which runs until Jan. 2.

To learn more, visit Kennywood.com.

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