Questions remain following Kentucky Kingdom season pass giveaway

Community reacts after free Kentucky Kingdom season pass giveaway ends early

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An event that was supposed to be positive led to a lot of frustration that has left the city talking one day later.

The line for the giveaway wrapped around the business and down the block. Many at the back of the line didn't know about the chaos happening at the front. And they didn't get passes. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The line for the giveaway wrapped around the business and down the block. Many at the back of the line didn't know about the chaos happening at the front. And they didn't get passes. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Folks waited for hours at 2028 West Broadway on Monday after a Louisville company, The Mardrian Group (TMG), announced it would give away season passes to Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay.

TMG cut the event short after the organizer, Teresa Bridgwaters, got on a Louisville Metro police officer’s loud speaker to address the crowd.

“We thought this would be a fun time for all the children to receive free signup for passes, but there are too many people who do not want to follow the rules,” Bridgewaters told the crowd. “They are causing problems. We have children that are getting pushed up against the window. So, at this time we are going to shut down the signup.”

Bridgewaters would not answer any questions from WAVE 3 News on Monday.

Because the event got cut short, many people are wondering what will happen next, since not all of the 300 passes were given away. WAVE 3 News made attempts to reach TMG on Tuesday to find out, but did not hear back.

Kentucky Kingdom said it only sold the passes to TMG, but was not a part of the event on West Broadway on Monday.

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On Tuesday, Kentucky Kingdom told WAVE 3 News it received the names of about 118 people who were given vouchers from TMG. Those are the people that got a piece of paper at the event on Monday.

Kentucky Kingdom’s spokesman, Ed Hart, wants to ensure his guests the park is a family-friendly environment.

“I think TMG did a wonderful thing, good corporate citizen trying to take care of a lot of disadvantaged folks throughout the community,” Hart said. “I guess it got out of control operationally.”

Many people waiting in line on Monday on West Broadway were screaming at each other and cursing in front of children. Cars were parked illegally and one person was taken away by ambulance.

Hart said people who received passes from TMG will have to show identification to Kentucky Kingdom and that the process will go smoothly at the park.

“I think if you ask anyone in this community, the new Kentucky Kingdom that has operated for the last five years is a very, very family-friendly place to enjoy yourself,” Hart said.

If you did receive a voucher from the giveaway, TMG said you have until June 29 to claim your pass from Kentucky Kingdom or you lose it. When you do go to Kentucky Kingdom, you have to bring proof of your identity.

Kentucky Kingdom has extended its $30 discount on a normal season pass through June 30. Those cost $69.95 each and are available for purchase at the park or online.

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