TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kennywood lights up the season in new ways

Eric Slagle | Daily News - Kennywood employees Corey Alukonis and David Pollock load a pine tree onto a utility vehicle as the park prepares for its second annual Kennywood Holiday Lights season, which opens today at 5:30 p.m.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Slagle | Daily News</em></div>Kennywood employees Corey Alukonis and David Pollock load a pine tree onto a utility vehicle as the park prepares for its second annual Kennywood Holiday Lights season, which opens today at 5:30 p.m.
Eric Slagle | Daily News - Kennywood employees Twyla Evans, Brittany Carman and Carol Craig apportion containers of candy sprinkles for a cookie decorating stand inside the park’s Parkside Café. It’s one of many holiday themed attractions at the park’s second annual Holiday Lights season, which begins tonight and runs through Dec. 30.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Slagle | Daily News</em></div>Kennywood employees Twyla Evans, Brittany Carman and Carol Craig apportion containers of candy sprinkles for a cookie decorating stand inside the park’s Parkside Café. It’s one of many holiday themed attractions at the park’s second annual Holiday Lights season, which begins tonight and runs through Dec. 30.
Eric Slagle | Daily News - Model railroad fans won’t want to miss a display by the Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers that is set up in Kennywood’s Parkside Café as part of the amusement parks celebration of Holiday Lights today through Dec. 30.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Slagle | Daily News</em></div>Model railroad fans won’t want to miss a display by the Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers that is set up in Kennywood’s Parkside Café as part of the amusement parks celebration of Holiday Lights today through Dec. 30.
Eric Slagle | Daily News - Kennywood Holiday Lights runs tonight through Dec. 30. The park’s second annual celebration of the season features scenic outdoor lighting displays, indoor activities for children, rides, shows and holiday snacks.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Slagle | Daily News</em></div>Kennywood Holiday Lights runs tonight through Dec. 30. The park’s second annual celebration of the season features scenic outdoor lighting displays, indoor activities for children, rides, shows and holiday snacks.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Kennywood's open ... again

Kennywood Holiday Lights

Begins today and continues every Friday-Sunday through Dec. 30, plus Dec. 26-27

Opens at 5:30 p.m.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 5:31 a.m.
 

In its opening season last year, Kennywood Holiday Lights drew thousands of visitors for each of its nine evenings.

This year, the West Mifflin amusement park has increased the seasonal celebration of light to include 11 more nights, activities and space in the park.

Park spokesman Jeff Filicko said there is one other thing the park wouldn't mind adding this year: snow.

“We didn't get one (laying snow) last year,” said Filicko, recalling the mild winter. Not that the park is hoping for a blizzard or anything but Filicko said he thinks a dusting of snow would make the seasonal transformation of the park complete.

Kennywood Holiday Lights opens today at 5:30 p.m. and continues every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 30, plus Dec. 26 and 27, from 5-9 p.m.

“It's such a different feel for the park,” Filicko said of the seasonal goings-on, which include scenic outdoor lighting displays, indoor activities for children, rides, shows, and holiday snacks. Filicko noted that Kennywood employees have been working at a brisk pace all month to convert the park from its Phantom Fright Nights look for Halloween to its present winter lights motif.

“We just have hundreds of thousands of lights and everything is geared towards kids,” said Filicko.

Getting back to practical matters, park lanes are dotted with salt containers in the event snow and slippery weather does arrive. Crews have also added temporary walls and space heaters to park pavilions to give strollers places of respite from the cold.

Visitors will find warmth and more at the Parkside Café. The park landmark will be home to an impressive model railroad display set up by the Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers model railroad club and cookie decorating activities featuring cookies made by the Apple Cookie & Chocolate Company of Turtle Creek.

Santa Claus will call the loading gate for the Racer rollercoaster home. Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa in a special coaster car built for the occasion.

The park has added rides. The Turtle is open, as is interactive haunted house Ghostwood Estate. Ghostwood has a special holiday theme.

“It's still kind of scary but it's also Christmas,” said Marie Ruby, who is director of ride operations.

Other rides include the Paratrooper, Merry-Go-Round and the Gingerbread Express railroad.

Ruby said the park is trying to make the holiday program something that is family oriented and appeals to people of all ages. Plenty of work by regular and seasonal employees has gone into the transformation, but Ruby said meeting the deadline for today's opening has not been a problem because the project has been ahead of schedule.

Park characters Kenny Kangaroo and Arrow the Kennywood sign, plus gingerbread men, elves and snowmen will roam the park and host activities at the Kennyville Stage and by the Jack Rabbit.

There will be regular performances by school and community choir groups at the Sound of the Holidays stage. The park is making one of its enclosed pavilions available for rental during.

The festival has been expanded to include sections of the park around Kennyville Stage and the original Potato Patch.

The park's midway is festooned with lights and it leads to the lagoon where 10-minute light shows occur every half hour. The park is decorated with more than 50 live pine trees donated by the Indiana Tree Growers Association.

Filicko said most of the park's food stands will be open and selling special seasonal products, though park favorites like Potato Patch Fries and corn dogs will be available.

Admission to Kennywood Holiday Lights is $14.99 plus tax. Tickets bought in advance at Giant Eagle are $2 less. Children 2 and younger are free. Parking is also free.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, eslagle@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  2. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  3. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  4. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  5. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  6. West Liberty pitcher hones skills in South
  7. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  8. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  9. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  10. Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
  11. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015