Kennywood’s open! Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean the park is screeching to a halt. There’s still time to enjoy seasonal thrills, chills and food at the amusement park in West Mifflin.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival.

Pierogies n’at

On Sunday, Sept. 26, the park will host the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival from 1 to 6 p.m.

The event, which was canceled in 2020 due to Covid, will feature more than 100 pierogi and pierogi-inspired dishes.

In addition to chowing down on our region’s signature food, you can patronize the Pop-Up Pierogi Marketplace for pierogi-centric wares including soap, artwork, ornaments and T-shirts. Commonwealth Press designed this year’s official festival T-shirt and a portion of all sales will benefit Community Kitchen Pittsburgh.

There will also be balloon art, a Pittsburgh-style photo booth, a DJ, live polka band performances and photo ops with the Pittsburgh Pirates Racing Pierogies. Keep your eyes on the ground, as The Chalking Dad will present pierogi works on walkways throughout the park. The folks from YaJagoff Podcast will be on hand to interview local foodies, celebs and vendors.

Seven rides will be open during the festival: the Merry-Go-Round, Racer, Turtle, Jack Rabbit, Thunderbolt, Noah’s Ark and Sky Rocket. Steelers Country will boast a large outdoor biergarten — and the game against the Cincinnati Bengals will air on the big screen.

The event’s local food sponsor is Farm to Table Buy Local, which expands awareness and opportunities for local growers and producers. More than half of this year’s vendors have local goods incorporated into their pierogi dishes. Look for the “Local Food” badges displayed by participating vendors.

Get ready to scream!

Burn off those pierogies by shaking in your boots at Kennywod’s Phantom Fall Fest.

The park’s spooky season runs Oct. 1-31. Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Kennywood’s chaperone policy will be in effect beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and all day on Fridays.

Family-friendly entertainment rules during the day, but the monsters come out at night. Boys and ghouls ages 12 and under are invited to wear costumes as they explore Kiddieland and Thomas Town, which will be decorated for the Halloween season. Fright fans will have access to five haunted houses and four scare zones.

The festival menu will feature turkey legs, pumpkin funnel cakes, seasonal beer and specialty cocktails.

Want a job scaring people? Join the Phantom Fall Fest Scream Team. Apply online or attend a job fair at the park on Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. Positions start at up to $16 per hour.

Photo courtesy of Kennywood.

A Phan-tastic makeover

Yinz guys have spoken and the answer is clear, or, in this case, colorful.

The Phantom’s Revenge at Kennywood Park will be painted Petrifying Purple after the season ends on Saturday, Sept. 25. The fresh coat will be the roller coaster’s first paint job in two decades.

Earlier this month, park officials asked Pittsburghers to choose between Petrifying Purple and Terrifying Teal. Nearly 10,000 people voted online. Named one of the top coasters in American on USA Today’s 10Best national poll, the ride will maintain its signature black support structures. The new hue will debut in 2022.

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Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.