WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — Kennywood is now one of dozens of amusements parks around the country that sell beer. It went on sale for the first time last weekend under tight security.
To some people, the idea of beer sales at Kennywood is no big deal.
“For some of us that don’t ride all day, it’s nice to have a place to go, relax, have a drink,” park-goer Dave Doyle said.
“As long as there’s security in the park, as long as it’s controlled, I think it will be fine,” added Betty Berrillo, another park-goer.
But for others, a beer stand in the park is an unwelcome sight that breaks a long-standing tradition.
“Because there’s plenty of places you can buy beer all around this place,” said park-goer Ted Nowicki. “Never had it, and I think you’re just asking for problems.”
This is only the second weekend of the year for beer sales at Kennywood.
Patrons can only drink within a fenced in area called the Beer Garden. First, identification is checked and scanned by a public safety officer; if it’s approved, customers get a wristband.
“They also get an ultraviolet stamp,” said Jeff Filicko, of Kennywood. “Once they go through that, they come into the Beer Garden, they’re welcome to purchase whatever beer they’d like and they get a special hole punch at the end of their bracelet to indicate they purchased a beer.”
In order to protect guests from mixing too much beer with too many amusement park rides, only two beers per day are allowed for each person.
“We really want to take a cautious, responsible approach to serving beer at Kennywood, and keeping the limit of two beers per person, per day is an easy way to put control on that, just to make sure that people can still enjoy beer responsibly while they are here at Kennywood,” Filicko added.
Saturday was the last day of the summer season and the last day for beer sales at Kennywood.
Beer will be back on tap next summer, but it won’t be available during school picnics and it will be up to the park to decide what days to open the stand.