A season pass giveaway to the Kentucky Kingdom amusement and water park in Louisville began with good intentions but quickly dissolved into chaos Monday.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, local commercial construction company The Mardrian Group was giving away the park's first 300 season passes to low-income and underserved families, specifically children 14 and younger with a current Medicaid card.
However, the event attracted more than 1,000 people over the course of the day, many of which grew frustrated with the long line and disorder.
"He got punched in the face, she got kneed in the back, he got squashed and fell down and stepped on, and I had somebody try to set a chair down on my foot," Jessica Fouch told the Courier-Journal. She attended the giveaway with her 11-year-old Nate, 8-year-old Emma and 6-year-old Noah. "It was just a mess. It was not working."
"They had no organizational skills whatsoever," Fouch added. "I think they should have had a clipboard, everybody, as they got here, should have signed in, and they should have gone down the list on the clipboard."
At one point, police officers used a bullhorn to try to control the crowd and attempt to form a more orderly line. It didn't work and the event eventually had to be shut down.
"We thought this would be a fun time for all the children to receive free signups for season passes. But there are too many people that do not want to follow the rules," said Teresa Bridgewaters, identified as the president of The Mardrian Group.
She said the group may organize another sign-up event down the road and if so, the process would be much different. "I hope people will come and act like adults, with their own children with the required information. If not, the money will be given back to the donors who've helped support the event."
Kentucky Kingdom spokesman Adam Birkner confirmed to the Courier-Journal that the theme park was not involved with the giveaway, pointing out that The Mardrian Group was giving away passes it had already purchased.
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