Kennywood Announces Multi-Year, Multi-Million Dollar Improvements Ahead of 125th Anniversary

A party 125 years in the making is too big for just one season. Today, Kennywood announced plans for a major, multi-million dollar improvement project to the park, along with a lineup of special events unlike anything seen since its founding in 1898.

Kennywood’s 125th season of fun is on the horizon in 2023. However, park leadership won’t wait another moment to begin the party, unveiling a two-year celebration starting with major changes coming in 2022 that will enhance guest experience, refresh landmark locations, and provide reasons to visit every single day of the season – from Opening Day on April 23 to the final night of Holiday Lights.

“The restoration of the iconic Kangaroo and launch of our smashingly successful Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival is just the beginning,” said Kennywood and Sandcastle General Manager Mark Pauls. “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.”

In a special event at the park on Thursday, December 16, Kennywood showcased some of the plans through concept renderings of key locations slated for a major makeover, including the park’s entrance plaza and main gate, along with the Old Mill and Jack Rabbit queue line areas. Food and beverage operations will receive significant enhancements, among them a redesigned Beer Garden area. As work on full-scale repainting of the Phantom’s Revenge and Thunderbolt roller coasters nears its conclusion, park leadership announced plans for similar offseason painting projects on beloved classic coasters Jack Rabbit and Racer – meaning four of Kennywood’s most popular and enduring attractions will look as fresh and bright as ever when riders climb aboard next spring. The Kangaroo’s all-new look and LED lighting package (selected in a community vote last month) was also revealed, showcasing a whimsical style fitting for the one-of-a-kind classic. Every part of the park will be impacted by the increased emphasis on landscaping and creating a more vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. Kennywood will continue to reveal additional details in the months to come.

Also debuting in 2022 is a special events lineup that will offer reasons to visit more often beyond Kennywood’s signature rides, creating more than eight months of can’t-miss moments of entertainment:

  • 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!);
  • August 6 – 21: The 72nd annual Fall Fantasy Parades march back into Kennywood, with nearly 200 high school and college bands performing each night;
  • September 23 – October 30: Phantom Fall Fest returns for a second season, with the ability to Play All Day, Fright All Night more than ever before; and
  • November 18 – January 1: More than one million lights sparkle and shine at Holiday LightsPittsburgh’s Home for the Holidays – with expanded hours and entertainment on the way.

Guests can be more than mere visitors to Pittsburgh’s Playground; they will play a role in the ongoing enhancements through a series of online votes on style and theming for parts of the park. The public can vote now on concepts to transform a blank wall bordering the Jack Rabbit’s queue line into an engaging display celebrating past and present parts of the park. Visitors 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-plus decades of timeless fun found here,” said Pauls. “This is Pittsburgh’s Playground, and we look forward to receiving more community input to inform ongoing upgrades to Kennywood for 2022 and future seasons.”

For more information on Kennywood’s 125th celebration, Season Passes, or Holiday Lights, visit Kennywood’s website!

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