Beer here?

Yes, it was announced yesterday that Kennywood is seeking approval for a beer garden and after initially not being sure how I felt about it, I have since decided I’m against it for reasons I’ll expand on more in my June column for Pittsburgh Magazine, but in a nutshell:

1. Just because Disney does it, doesn’t mean Kennywood has to. Kennywood is supposed to be an old-fashioned traditional park, different from other parks. And as Gina pointed out on Twitter, Disney is HUGE, but Kennywood is much more compact.

2. Of course Kennywood isn’t really doing this because they want to better serve their customers. The true reason is of course for money. Alcohol sales = MONEY and PROFIT. Which is fine. I just don’t know if it’s really worth it.

3. I don’t trust all the yinzers to not get drunk and return to the general park area. I have a hard enough time keeping my kids sheltered from the loud and horribly profane drunks at Pens, Pirates and Steelers games. I don’t want to have to do it at Kennywood too.I liked it being a place where that issue was off the table.

4. It’s one thing to smell Potato Patch vomit after the Cosmic Chaos comes to a halt, but God help me the first time I have to smell beer-flavored Potato Patch vomit.

5. If you thought Kennywood PDA was out of control, wait until those groping liplockers get three or four beers in them. HOT SEX.

6. I repeat, BEER-FLAVORED VOMIT. When is it ever a good idea to drink beer, stand in line in the sweltering heat for an hour and then get on a ride that will spin you until your eyeballs roll back in your head and your belly decides to give up the goods? NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

I don’t know. I don’t mean to be a pilgrim and my June column will actually talk about all the things that beer DOES make better, but in this case, I’m against beer at Kennywood.

What do you guys think?





75 Comments

  1. MizzPenz
    April 13, 2012 11:26 am

    Plenty of amusement parks serve alcohol without incident. Herhseypark does. I personally don’t think that people are going to think “Hey… let’s go to Kennywood and get schnockered today!” Yeah, you might have that once and a while random asshole, but there are plenty of those around that didn’t even need alcohol to make them that way.



  2. mindybakes
    April 13, 2012 11:29 am

    I completely agree. I do not have kids and I love to drink beer but I see no benefit to the patrons by adding a beer garden. I can totally see why Kennywood would want it, you nailed it – money, but I have been going to Kennywood since birth, this would change it forever and not in any positive way. Kennywood is NOT Disney. The patrons at Kennywood are NOT the same as the patrons of Disney. You are comparing apples and oranges.

    I see so much crap at Kennywood that already makes me shake my head. The idea of Miller Lite drunk dude-bros running around the park, and you KNOW that is exactly what will happen, disgusts me. I would hate to not go to Kennywood for the same reasons I avoid the South Side on weekend nights.

    I have no idea how they plan to make it happen to get the state approval, I can’t imagine that is going to be an easy process, but regardless I have zero intrest in going to Club Kennywood. Ever.



  3. Gina
    April 13, 2012 11:30 am

    And although Disney sells alcohol in some of the parks – they don’t in the Magic Kingdom, because they want to keep drunks away from children (and the Magic Kingdom is the most kid-like park). The last time we were in WDW, I had a drunk harass me and my children in Epcot and it was unpleasant.

    Plus – the proposed beer garden is very close to kiddieland.

    Also – I LOVE beer, so I’m not just an anti-alcohol person.



  4. bucdaddy
    April 13, 2012 11:32 am

    This is going to be weird … I might have to lie down after I write this … but … Kennywood doesn’t need beer.

    (Pauses to allow fellow Churchers to recover their equilibrium.)

    For all the reasons you state, plus these terrifying words:

    Budweiser Bow-Tie Bar.*

    *–I spent a good chunk of time at the Pirates opener trying to persuade about half a dozen people not to drink Bud and Miller. “Did you know 10 cents** of every Bud/Miller you pay for goes to pay Matt Holliday/Ryan Braun to kick our ass?” I told them.

    I might have won over one or two, but the one I most admired told me, essentially, “F*** off, I like Miller.”

    Well, OK then. Stick up for your beer!

    Just don’t call yourself a Pirates fan.

    **–I may have rounded up.



    • Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
      April 13, 2012 11:51 am

      Tell them to hit the Hall of Fame Club after the game to get $2,50 beers and the beer selection is way better there. You can get three East End brews for the price of that one really bad Bud/Miller product and also support a local business instead of contributing to the salary of a Pirate killer.



      • bucdaddy
        April 13, 2012 11:58 am

        Word. I actually broke down and paid $9 for a draft in the ballpark (because Paul bought one for me and I owed him one), but it was IIRC a Hop Devil, or something equally crafty (BTW, April 20 is the start of Craft Beer Week in Pittsburgh). But we made up for it by hitting the HoF after.

        There’s another reason I don’t need beer at Kennywood. Not “I don’t need them to sell it” but “I don’t need to drink it.” As Doggie might attest, guys our age … how do I put this … OK, two words: Frequent. Urination. Damned if I’m going to stand in line 45 minutes for the Thunderbolt and then just as I’m ready to step aboard I have to pee, massively. Bad enough I can’t get three straight hours’ sleep in a night.



        • Butcher's Dog
          April 13, 2012 1:17 pm

          –Frequent. Urination.–

          As a very wise man once wrote, Word.



        • Amanda
          April 13, 2012 1:45 pm

          Have you considered Flomax? Proscar? As a Family Physician, I’m telling you, if you’re unable to sleep more than 3 hours b/c of nocturia (my fancy word for getting up at night to pee), then something likely needs to be done.



  5. Laura
    April 13, 2012 11:35 am

    I totally agree. On an average day, the park is so packed with people. I certainly don’t want people adding to the certain messes with spilling beer on me or any kids. Adding to public drunkeness is public urination. You know full well drunk people will not wait to find a restroom when those 5 or 6 or 7 beers hit them on the way to the Thunderbolt and hey, there are TONS of hedges around…who’s gonna see. KIDS will see.



  6. Leenyburgh
    April 13, 2012 11:37 am

    I agree — it is totally unnecessary and is only for profit. I go to Kennywood to get sick off of coasters and way too much junk food… beer just doesn’t mix. Beer-flavored vomit for sure.



  7. Josh
    April 13, 2012 11:50 am

    I don’t have any issues with it whatsoever. As has been stated previously, many other parks serve beer and have done so for years without issue. Cedar Point allows beer purchases, and you can even carry it around the park and in lines. Despite this, Cedar Point is one of the highest rated amusement parks in the country. At least Kennywood will be restricting the purchasing/consuming to the Beer Garden area. Hopefully they will be vigilant to not serve people who are visibly intoxicated, as that is when issues could start.

    As far as the small park/big park issue… I grew up in Indiana, and in the midst of our cornfields and racetracks we had a very small family-owned park called Indiana Beach. It is probably half the size of Kennywood, but they still served beer in a similar fashion that Kennywood is proposing. In the many times I went to the park, I never had problems with “drunks” or “beer-flavored vomit”.

    I guess I just really don’t see why this is such a big deal.



    • Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
      April 13, 2012 12:03 pm

      I don’t see it as a big deal, either, but I don’t frequent amusement parks with any sort of regularity. The parks I’ve been to with the beer gardens don’t have crazy drunks running around. Honestly, the primary reason I don’t go to the parks is due to the awful behavior of the hoards of teenage kids who have no regard for anyone but themselves. I’ve had one too many slushies, pops and other liquids thrown, poured, dropped in my direction than I care to count. I’m not saying all kids are misbehaving miscreants, just that at times, when the parents aren’t in eyesight, a little chaos ensues.



  8. spoon
    April 13, 2012 11:55 am

    Beer? What is this beverage you speak of?

    Some things need to be answered (that don’t appear in that article and i’m too lazy to look up) before everyone shows up with pitchforks and torches. Is there a limit to the amount of beer that can be purchased in the garden and if so is it only available through a server who can control sales?

    Like any public place where alcohol is served it comes down to responsibility and unfortunately there is a segment of the Kennywood clientele that have no idea WTF that is. Those are the ones that will be the problem and its not just for beer, but alcohol in general.

    Personally, I wouldn’t buy beer there because its probably going to be some overpriced maco bullshit



    • bucdaddy
      April 13, 2012 12:01 pm

      If they don’t have a Big Hop tap they’re dead to me.



      • spoon
        April 13, 2012 12:05 pm

        Anytime i see Beer Garden somewhere I usually go the other direction.



        • MizzPenz
          April 13, 2012 2:00 pm

          Unless you happen to be lucky like me and be at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen were once I walked in to THEIR beer garden I thought I died and went to heaven. Again, another amusement park that serves beer and everyone was very well behaved.



    • mindybakes
      April 13, 2012 12:19 pm

      Im curious to see what hoops the state makes them jump through and what happens when they post the public notice if it gets that far. Totally right, though, they havent said enough about HOW this is going to work, I just dont see any benefit. You nailed it though – the ability of the clientele to not act like drunken asshats is what I question based on my experiences in the park.

      Will be interesting to watch it unfold, thats for sure.



  9. jdp
    April 13, 2012 12:16 pm

    I would never consume alcohol in an amusement park for all the reasons already listed – potty problems, crazy $, etc.

    Would I quit going to Kennywood if they start serving alcohol? Probably not. But it won’t be “lets go as much as we can!” It’ll go back to an “annual tradition”.

    If I wanted Cedar Point, et al I’d go there.

    Just like people hate kids in restaurants and other “grown up” places – I hate to have my kid around drunk aholes. We choose accordingly. Not just with amusement parks but all events, destinations, etc. Probably why we’re so “boring” :)



    • Cassie
      April 13, 2012 10:07 pm

      Good point! Why does alcohol have to be a part of a family friendly environment?

      Though, sometimes to get through the experience of Kennywood, it may require ample amounts of alcohol.



  10. Bram R
    April 13, 2012 12:28 pm

    Soon the arcades will have blackjack and you’ll actually get to wager on the ceramic dog races — and you won’t even want to know what goes on inside Ghostwood Estate, but bring plenty of tickets.



  11. bucdaddy
    April 13, 2012 12:36 pm

    Golly dang it, Virginia: You are a world-famous writer for prestigious publications (as well as a college lecturer of repute in realms as distant as Greensburg). It is time you put your mad skillz in service to the public by doing some undercover investigative journalism.

    I suggest you use your considerable powers to summon your minions to Kennywood on a June or July or August Sunday of your choosing. Oh sure, we will call it “That’s Church Day at Kennywood,” but that will merely be a ruse. While dozens, perhaps even scores of us will APPEAR to be enjoying ourselves and the company of our fellow Churchers and the rides ‘n at, we will really be scrutinizing park patrons for signs that they have been indulging too often in the evils of John Barleycorn. If they are there, we will find them, and we WILL note them in our reports, even if we have to venture into the bowels of the very saloon itself (I know it will be an odious task for many of us, but you can ask for noble volunteers willing to take the risk).

    There will need to be frequent conferences during the day for us to compare notes. So that we don’t make our intentions obvious to other park patrons, these conferences should be held every two hours at Potato Patch Fries, where we will appear merely to be hungry yinzers, rather than the That’s Church Irregulars.

    Group discounts available, right?

    This needs to happen.

    What say we all?



    • Butcher's Dog
      April 13, 2012 1:25 pm

      I’m always up for undercover work, even if it means getting out of bed to do it. We’d need recognition shit, though, to identlfy ourselves. I suggest awkward kung fu moves for the secret sign and my most recent awesome band name suggestion, Smoking Crotch, for the secret password.

      That work for yinz guys?



      • Bulldog
        April 13, 2012 1:42 pm

        I am soooo there. Never let it be said that I turned away from a worthy endeavor such as the one you propose. If nothing else, it will be awesome to see all the seemingly “random” Awkward Kung Fu Moves being done around the Potato Patch!



        • redram1
          April 13, 2012 6:45 pm

          All of the non-Churchers will think it’s the start of a flash mob. Won’t they be disappointed.



    • Sam's Dog
      April 13, 2012 6:06 pm

      I’d be willing to be a noble volunteer, but what if someone,(not necessarily myself), mind you, was called upon to write themselves up in this “report”. A few details need to be hashed out, I’m guessing.
      I think beer at Kennywood would be of the mass-produced, grossly overpriced variety, so although I don’t think drunken behavior would be rampant, there would still be enough aholes to ruin a good time for the majority.



  12. unsatisfied
    April 13, 2012 12:37 pm

    should it happen?

    eh, I’m not big on it.

    and, I’m a beer drinker. with the gut to prove it.

    but, nothing goes worse with the steel phantom or whatever they are calling it this week than beer.

    will it happen?

    see ginny’s item #2.



    • spoon
      April 13, 2012 2:39 pm

      I say we tailgate and then go ride that thing where they drop you from the sky on a bungee. I know a certain someone who would do it with us for Icehouse



  13. Jen
    April 13, 2012 12:39 pm

    I don’t think Kennywood needs beer either. It will be expensive and people will get drunk in the heat in August. I too, have experienced drunks at Epcot Center and it was awful. No need to give people the opportunity to get drunk, ride rides, get sick and be inappropriate in front of children. Like you said Ginny, you see enough of that when you take children to games here.



  14. Sooska
    April 13, 2012 12:47 pm

    They also said the drinking area was by, or in the area of, the pond. Can we say first drunk drowning at Kennywood?



  15. Eric
    April 13, 2012 12:48 pm

    terrible idea. This will inevitably result in fights, increased police presence, beer flavored vomit moving toward innocent faces at the speed of sound… I could go on. I absolutely love to drink anx have fun, but Kennywood is family first, period. There’s no room for it. Really bad idea.



  16. Marcy
    April 13, 2012 12:48 pm

    Reading all the pearl-clutching on the WTAE post about this is kind of awesome and hilarious, tho, with people pledging to never return to Kennywood (mm-hmm) and decrying the new owners for money-grubbing (uh, it’s a business?).

    I don’t see anyone all up-in-arms about the beer sales at Chuck E. Cheeses. Also, how many people are going to go to Kennywood because they want to get drunk – if that is your priority for the day you probably don’t want to spend an extra $30 on admission when yinz can get into Jack’s for free, ‘n at.



  17. AngryMongo
    April 13, 2012 1:05 pm

    Sandcastle already sells beer, from what I remember. And after working at Cedar Point for a couple years, I’ve seen how they handled it and it never became a problem. There was a walk/swim up pool bar and a few places you could drink. You couldn’t just wander all through the park with a beer.

    But does Kennywood need it? Apparently, they do. They need the money, anyways.

    Will anyone want to actually pay event prices for beer? Not me.



  18. addiful
    April 13, 2012 1:32 pm

    I agree that it seems like a bad idea. Like, how are these poor teenagers just trying to work their summer job going to now have to monitor patrons for being too drunk to ride? Ugh.



  19. Al Luccioni
    April 13, 2012 1:44 pm

    about damn time, sick of the modern day puritans trying to jam their prudish pinch face, church lady morals on everbody else.



  20. TripleC
    April 13, 2012 2:14 pm

    Super. So this will be the equivalent of a Steelers tailgate being held at an amusement park – drunken yinzers barfing all over themselves and anyone with 3 feet.

    Sign me up. Sounds like a blast.



  21. Pensgirl
    April 13, 2012 2:25 pm

    I’m not foaming-at-the-mouth upset by the idea, but I think it’s kind of sad that we live in a society that doesn’t seem to have the ability to escape anything. Kennywood-has-beer is just the latest version. When I was a law student our school put a Starbucks cart in our library. There are wi-fi hotspots everywhere. Your neighborhood pub has a sound system that can cause earthquakes. And every place seems to also be a bar. I like the idea that there are still places we could go that let us, temporarily, get away from these things, even if getting away from them isn’t our primary motivation for going there. It’s just another example of how we can’t seem to do anything without being encroached upon in some way, whether it’s the loud cappuccino machine when you’re trying to study, the drunk guy picking fights in your section at the big game, the date who looks at his or her phone every five seconds, or the person fifteen feet away on the subway playing music so loud you understand the lyrics.

    Kennywood isn’t by any means a quiet or calm place, as others have said there are plenty of other ways people can rain douchebaggery upon you when you’re there, and it’s certainly just as appropriate a destination for adults-only groups as it is for families or groups of kids, but it just strikes me that not serving alcohol is part of the fabric of the experience it currently delivers. And I like that about it, the same way I like that my family’s rural getaway is completely unplugged and devoid of cell service. It’s not that I think adding beer will suddenly cause all Kennywood-goers to become drunken assholes (they won’t) or that a currently-perfect experience (it isn’t) will be ruined for most people (it wouldn’t), but it’s been just plain nice to spend your day there and never encounter that problem. If that’s a quaint, old-fashioned sentiment, I’m OK with that.



    • Sam's Dog
      April 13, 2012 5:56 pm

      “Raining Douchebaggery” – maybe not on the top ten band name list, but probably worth consideration.



  22. Suburban Nor'Side Girl
    April 13, 2012 3:14 pm

    I don’t feel like reading all 37 comments so forgive me if I’m repeating something that’s been said more than a few times. There are plenty of places one can go to suck down a brewski, I don’t think an amusement park that is geared toward those under drinking age needs to supply beer. If the adults taking said underage patrons to Kennywood can’t go an hour or two without a beer while the kids are having a good time, they probably would find a better use of their time going to AA/Al-Anon meetings. Stepping down from my soap box now.



  23. Ben
    April 13, 2012 3:32 pm

    No strong opinion on this one. But I will partake.



  24. Steve
    April 13, 2012 3:56 pm

    I think if this is done well it would be a fabulous addition to Kennywood. I would hope it would feature mostly local brews along with kielbasa, pierogies, etc. Throw in some live polka music, impose a drink limit,and it’s a great way to keep patrons in the park if they can sit down and enjoy the scenery for an hour or so.

    That being said it can also be done poorly and not in the best interest of the park. I would like to think that Kennywood could do this to celebrate pittsburgh and it’s culture, support the local economy, and not have it be a place to get cheap alcohol for the sake of getting tanked.



  25. Shannonsharpe
    April 13, 2012 4:01 pm

    I’m not for this only because we know people cannot control themselves. So they will puke on the Thunderbolt on SOMEBODY and that person won’t have a change of clothes and ruins their day because of someone’s drinking. Not to mention parents driving their kids home drunk. This spells disaster…..
    You can’t go one day to a family event without alcohol..seems they have been doing it for approx. 70 years??



  26. Michelle
    April 13, 2012 4:05 pm

    Meh. Am I thrilled about the idea? No. But I am surprised it took this long to become a possibility. However, and this is a big However, think about how complicated the state makes it to buy any kind of alcohol anywhere in the state, whether it’s restricting where you can buy it, or on what day, or how much/many taxes you’ll have to shell out to drink it or take it home with you. This will cost the park plenty to initiate and run. And, that expense will no doubt be passed down to us in the form of high drink prices and probably another rise in admission/general concession prices to waylay the expense for the state’s cut from the park and the added training and security personnel.

    This sounds very complex, and if people truly don’t want it, it will be too costly to hold up. If they DO want it, and it does well, this is Pennsylvania after all. You bet they’ll regulate and restrict the hell out of it.

    Now excuse me, I’ve got to get dahn to the Shop n’ Save for some vending machine wine…….oh, wait.



  27. RichD
    April 13, 2012 4:23 pm

    I don’t think Kennywood needs beer, but I have no issues with them wanting to sell it. I want them to bring back General Admission. My wife and I used to go out in the evenings, walk around, play a few games, maybe ride a roller coaster and go home. It’s not worth it to do that, even with the evening rate.



    • Leenyburgh
      April 13, 2012 7:40 pm

      I totally agree! I’m only there to ride the Thunderbolt a zillion times while my in-laws take pictures of my kids in Kiddieland anyway…



    • Erin
      April 14, 2012 2:26 pm

      AGREED. Loved loved loved General Admission; it was one of the things that set Kennywood apart from other amusement parks, too. So fine – make money off the beer and bring back GA.



  28. Janelle
    April 13, 2012 8:56 pm

    For the most part, I agree for all of these reasons. I mean, I admit drinking at a park would be fun, but there’s this threshold I’m sure would be crossed very fast between super fun and worst experience of your life, as well as everyone else around you.

    Plus there are enough drunk girls stumbling around the South Side with totally obnoxious dudes. Don’t need them at Kennywood, too.



  29. Kevin
    April 13, 2012 11:05 pm

    I don’t know if this counts as an ‘investigation’, but I happened to be at Kennywood on one of the selected days they sold beer last season.

    My wife and kiddo stood in line at the wooden track cars (my legs are too long to sit in it), so I thought that having a brat would be great while waiting. When I entered the ‘garden’ area, it clearly stated A.) only 21 and older allowed in (in other words, you CANT have your kids with you in the area), B.) Everyone was carded and given a bracelet,and C.) you couldn’t leave the area with your drink.

    I guess I’ll take the ‘yinzer’ tag beause I had an IC Light (which was 6 bucks) and yes, I drank it because “I’m actually drinking a beer at Kennywood?” Two security guards were at the gate area, and one in the actual picnic area. I regret to tell you I didn’t complete the yinzer hat trick by tossing up my brat, slugging a teenager, or going ‘Big Ben’ in the locker stalls above the fudge/candy store at the entrance with a trainee.

    In all seriousness, if I wasn’t there to witness it myself, I would have some of the same reservations as I share a lifetime of memories at the park as many of you do. Ive also been to Hersheypark, and Busch Gardens where you can actually sample beers for free in some areas with less control, and if you think yinzers are bad, what about parks filled with Philadelphians and boorish foreign tourists?

    I think all will be fine.



    • Dr Kevlar
      April 17, 2012 10:33 am

      Kevin,

      Thank you for posting your experience at Kennywood. I think it is easier to discuss the ramifications of beer sales if we all understand the parameters under which the beer will be made available.

      If this is the template under which they plan to operate, then it sounds perfectly fine with me. The proper controls are in place to ensure that there is no underage drinking, excessive drinking or exposing the kids to a bar/tailgate type atmosphere.

      I mean, it is beer that will be sold, not heroin or worse, benzodiazepines! The reaction here was this sort of immediate Spanish inquisition thing where the assumption is that the sales of beer would produce a complete and total societal collapse – like the kind they are just waiting for on Doomsday Preppers.

      Meanwhile, of course, we can plop the kiddies in front of the telly where they can watch ads for Cialis, Viagra, Intuniv, Flomax, Boniva, Celebrex, etc, etc, etc…



    • bucdaddy
      April 17, 2012 10:53 am

      “IC Light … 6 bucks”

      I just threw up without beer’s help.



  30. Emilie
    April 13, 2012 11:14 pm

    Against…. Wrong on so many levels and beer/heat/roller coaster just do not mix. This will not end well for anyone!



  31. bucdaddy
    April 14, 2012 2:36 am

    WOO-HOO!

    $18.49 for me this year ($10.99 night rider). I’ll save enough off the regular price to buy two swills.



  32. Rick
    April 15, 2012 9:34 pm

    I’m not wholly for it or against it, but there needs to be some severe restrictions on it. I’d limit people to two maybe three beers, period and make damn sure no one can leave the area with a beer.

    I think some people knee jerk when it comes to beer and they think immediately that any place that sells beer is a South Side Bar or a Steelers Game. If it’s done well it could be a place that you could actually be proud of. A flat area with taps would just be adult daycare.



  33. Megan M.
    April 16, 2012 9:11 am

    What it comes down to for me is what a couple of other people said: are there really adults who are not capable of getting through a single day at the park without alcohol? How do you get through your normal life if you can’t make it through a day without booze? Can’t there be some places where we leave alcohol out of the mix and still manage to have a good time?



  34. SteelCityMagnolia
    April 16, 2012 9:16 am

    Not a fan of this, either, for all the reasons mentioned.

    I guess I just do not understand why beer has to be sold everywhere now. It always amazed me, back in my dance-team days, that a couple of the church festivals we performed at always had a beer truck. Not just a booth with a keg, y’all…. a whole freaking TRUCK full of beer. And at every show, some moron had one too many and decided to try to dance with us. Amusing? Not hardly, not when you’re trying to dodge the idiot and the inevitable collision. One of my family’s favorite annual traditions is concert-going at a few of the state’s county fairs. One fair will be selling beer this summer, others are seriously considering it. I don’t get it. Like Ginny and others have mentioned, these are family destinations where dealing with drunks was never an issue. Now it’s something that families need to consider. I’m not saying that EVERYONE who goes to Kennywood or a fair and drinks is going to be an obnoxious asshat drunk. But there’s always that one person…..



  35. bucdaddy
    April 16, 2012 12:09 pm

    It might not be a huge problem in the park itself, where at least park personnel can try to contain things, but turning those parking lots into Dodge’em Cars afterward … I mean, it’s already an adventure getting out of there against people who are sunburned and tired and wobbly from riding the Aero360 and corralling their sugared-up kids all day.

    However, does anyone seriously believe they haven’t had beer in the park for decades? Not OFFICIAL beer, mind you, not a $9 Budweiser, but … All those Italian and German and Polish and Slovak and Greek heritage days in the picnic areas, you telling me nobody ever brought a single drop of (sorry) dago red or ouzo or a cooler of beer to a pavilion?



  36. red pen mama
    April 16, 2012 1:14 pm

    Although I am against beer at Kennywood for the reasons Ginny states, I have to give props to the people who think it could be okay. Good arguments “for”. Well done.



  37. red pen mama
    April 16, 2012 1:16 pm

    Also want to add: IF they do bring beer to the park, and it DOES turn out disasterously, what then? If it’s less Cedar Point and more South Side on the weekends, what will Kennywood do?



  38. BrieCS
    April 18, 2012 3:27 pm

    I am actually pretty excited to see this. I don’t typically ride many rides at Kennywood – I like to walk around, see the lights, and enjoy the environment (although the crowds get to me pretty bad). It would be nice to occasionally have a beer while I’m out (albeit an expensive one).

    I do get a little frustrated with the complaint that it’s all about money. Kennywood is a business. They have to make money to continue providing the service they do. If it turns out that the sale of alcohol does badly for their business, they’ll probably drop it pretty rapidly. However, Pittsburgh is a drinking town with a football problem, and Kennywood knows that catering to that is a good start on improving business with adults with money. I like it because it might encourage more adults to attend, which means more business for Kennywood (adults beget kids coming, kids become teenagers and go, and then teenagers become adults and bring their kids, etc.).

    I have no doubt that they will police it well, as someone detailed above – the adult “beer” events in the past were well managed. I just feel like it is, in fact, tapping into another aspect of Pittsburgh culture – a love for beer and the strong immigrant heritages (which brought a love for beer to Pittsburgh). If it causes a lot of problems, they’ll get rid of it. I think they will be careful enough to ensure that there’s not people running around throwing up all the time – they seem to manage keeping it cleaned up with people presently, in spite of large crowds and people bringing their own alcohol.



  39. Cherie
    April 18, 2012 7:25 pm

    At first I was like, “Drunk at kennywood? Sounds great!” Of course that was all for selfish reasons because the more I thought about it the less intriguing it seemed. Having drunk people, who most likely won’t control themselves, in a family based theme park doesn’t seem like a good combination.