ACE Mid-Atlantic Celebrates America
by Corey Brown
On Saturday, August 24th, 51 ACE members attended Celebrate America at Six Flags America. This late-summer event gave members one last chance to experience the park before it transitioned into weekend-only operation. Members had the opportunity to bask in a nice August day, with clear skies and mild temperatures.
Check-in began early before morning ERT commenced. This year’s offerings were Firebird and Roar. Firebird has been running with its new trains for a few months, allowing them to break in and provide a smooth ride. With an hour of ERT, members could try out all six rows of the train or they could bounce on over to Roar, which was running two trains.
Once everyone got their fill, most members rushed over to Superman to get the coveted first ride of the day, or as many call it, the morning zen ride. There is something about cresting over that first drop while the public starts to dwindle into the park. Wonder Woman was also open at this point and many took the opportunity to get a zen, breezy ride on the starflyer.
Once the park fully opened, members had the option to do what they wanted to before an informal lunch at the Chop Six patio just after noon. Members opted to use their dining passes: many went for pizza and chicken tenders, while others went for Macho Nacho, one of the newer options on the dining plan. Those entering the funnel cake competition later on in the afternoon chose to eat light, to save room for the challenge.
Park Q&A (watch it here) occurred in the middle of the afternoon, in the Grand Theatre. Rick Howarth, Park President; David Johnson, Director of Marketing and Communication; Denise Stokes, Communications Manager, and a bunch of other executive staff joined ACE to answer questions. Information about the upcoming FrightFest and Holiday in the Park were given, as was useful career advice about how to get involved in the amusement industry. Elizabeth Ringas, Regional Rep., facilitated a live auction of Six Flags memorabilia while also handing out door prizes to lucky members. Items for grab included pieces of Wild One wood.
Right after the Q&A, Six Flags America provided the opportunity for six members to participate in a funnel-cake-eating contest. The rules were simple: whoever ate the most funnel cake while not using their hands won. For many of the contestants, the first set of funnel cakes went down fine, while the second batch was much harder (literally). The whole thing was a lot of fun and allowed for some good laughs as members scoffed down hundreds of caloric goodness in about six minutes flat. The winner received four free tickets while the other five received two.
After the funnel-cake-eating contest, members were free to roam and get dinner with their dining pass, before an early evening showing of the stunt show, Battle in the Badlands. As the evening progressed and night fell on the park, members took more spins on their favorite rides while others watched the remaining shows at the park. Once the park closed, it was time for night ERT.
One of the highlights of Celebrate America is the ability to ride Superman in the dark with no lines. This fan favorite delivers a fantastic way to end a day of fun. Many members took the opportunity to marathon the coaster by sitting in their favorite seat(s), getting at least a dozen rides in before ERT ended. For those who preferred the inverted aspect of Joker’s Jinx, it was also open for ERT.
Thank you to the park staff and regional team for organizing this event. With a new pendulum ride coming next season, Celebrate America will only continue to get better with time.