What is a Juggalo Day? That’s the day each year where the Juggalos of the greater Pittsburgh area converge on the great old Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, PA. It was started by the PittsburghJuggalos.com guys in 2001, and I’ve helped wherever I could ever since with my own site, WesternPAJuggalos.com. This year, we had it later than usual, after conferencing with one of the “PJ originals” that still has any involvement with this thing. The moving of the Gathering of the Juggalos to early August started to eclipse the usual date for the event, so we moved it back to August 30, and it seemed like a good move. The park was highly populated, but very few of the rides had horrendus lines, aside from the Exterminator and the new haunted house ride, it seemed. This made for a great bit of riding.
I arrived with the Silent One, dropped off so the Missfit could have the car for the day. We met upw ith Sammi AKA Snuggalette on the site, and eventually with WPAJ original, Snackz, and his girl Meg. This was really cool, since Snackz has only popped up so often since he moved back to Mansfield, OH after his stint at the Art Institute. We also met up with Kraz. This is the girl that got the WPAJ “lil’ will” art tattoo’ed on her arm. She’s crazy awesome.
Sammi, though, definitly gets Juggalo Day MVP of the year. This girl stepped up and did her best to organize the group discount tickets over the last month. While the prepay method didn’t illicit any takers, she stepped up, bought a round of 20 tickets, and set a time for everyone to meet up. There were issues with the tickets being printed wrong and saying we needed a “$10 surcharge”, and a small issue with a security guard thinking she was “selling” tickets in the concourse. But that’s for later. A big “woot woot” goes to her. And it was great to see the Erie Ninja and his Erie Ninjette, as well has their young Ering Ninjling at the park as well. They couldn’t stay for the picture, but it was great to have them there!
Anyways, after all that BS over the tickets, we finally get into the gate and hit rides. Rolling about eight deep most of the day, with the above mentioned and their significant others. It was a great time. I got to check off the list of to do’s for the park that I didn’t get to last year. (that’s another story). Raging Rapids. Cosmos ride. Dippin’ Dots. Steel Phantom in day and at night. Exterminator. Twice. Hit all the the high spots. And I don’t think there was a boring moment.
Finally, 5:30 rolled around and it was picture time! This is the tradition that has led to the more amazing public displays of Juggalos in a public place on the net. This year, I counted at least 80+ Juggalos before losing my place, so, as always, that could have meant near 100 for the day. (people leave early, late, get ejected for being stupid sometimes, etc. So I round up a bit) But we got everyone together, I got the chance to make something of a thank you speech for everyone who came (which I guess is a new tradition) Have to give it to poor Carly the Kennywood photographer. I think she was rather overwhelmed by our group, but handled things well as I got everyone rounded up for the picture. I made sure the crowd thanked her. And now she has a blog prop, as well.
The only snag I had with our crew, and much love to them just the same, was the smoke breaks. I know Kennywood has the “smoker’s stations” you have to go to since Allegheny has the public smoking laws (thank you, county) but so much downtime for smoke breaks. It became a little frustrating for my and my clean lunged brother. But, alas. It was made the most of to just sit and bullshit, and still was a lot better than last year where I felt like I sat around half the day.
The other snag of the day was some unfortunate incidents with security. Now, last year, there was an incident where some of the young juggalos decided that they were going to toss some Faygo. They took the time to plan out, talked with a Kennywood worker friend of theirs, decided going out to the pavilions would be find, not harm anyone, and no one would mind. They even made sure to clean up after themselves. Well that didn’t work, and some 30+ Juggalos got ejected after the picture last year. Including yours truely for simply being too close to the action. Well, I kind of expected something to come of it this year. I don’t know if it was related, and in a couple cases, I doubt it.
The first issue was Sammi’s issue with being accused of selling the tickets in front of the gate, as mentioned before. A. this was only when we were down to two tickets. B. the security guard that took the tickets away from her said she couldn’t exchange money out there, but could after they got in the gate. A look at Kennywood’s web site, that I could find, stated nothing about this rule. C. as I understand it, so long as “tickets” are sold at face value, it is not a matter of “scalping” the tickets. But, after some talk, another staff member gave her her paid tickets back.
Secondly, I heard about five Juggalos were ejected for “chanting”. This hadn’t been much of a problem before. Chants of “Whoop Whoop” “Magic Ninjas, Wut” and the like are often heard when a group of 5 or more rambuncious juggalos get together. But I was surprised they were kicked out. I did have a chance to talk to one of the cops (They use to be “Kennywood Police” by now are referred to as “Public Safety Officers”. They still have guns, so…) and asked if there was an issue with the chanting. He confirmed they were ejected due to vulgarity. That’s fine, that’s a park rule. Unless I hear from those guys that they weren’t swearing, but I know how some of the chants go myself.
Then I heard about a couple getting ejected when the guy was pulled aside because he was “acting drunk”. As far as I’m told, that’s could be his usual demenor. So they took him to the “station” and did a breathalizer and the like, and found no evidence of him drinking, yet ejected him anyways. The girl asked if she could go back to get her picture, and the cop supposedly said “this is what I think of your picture” and farted.
The last incident I know if is Kraz’s guy (sorry I didn’t catch everyone’s name) This guy was with us all day. During one of the later smoke breaks, he went off alone to the bathroom. He went in, came out, and a female officer was waiting and frisked him, accusing him of rolling weed in the bathroom. Of course, she didn’t find anything, and let him go. So I got to hear about it right after it happened.
Now, I don’t know what was up this year. Whether it was the incident last year, the new Spanish-based owners of this “all American” theme park, or just some shitty attitudes by the staff, but I don’t remember a year with this many problems without some massive provocation (and they were both Faygo-throwing incidents that I can think of.) But it’s at the point where several have told me they might not go back to Kennywood in general. And notice, the numbers have dwindled in recent years, and the dealing with this staff might be a partial cause of it.
If you were there for Juggalo Day, and felt that something out of line occured with the staff, please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am looking into options, and plan to contact the park, and it’s parent company, about this issue. And I will be sure to attach 8 years of group pics ranging from 50-200 Juggalos to back up my point.