Kennywood's Noah's Ark Getting Birthday Makeover

Additions to the popular attraction include some elements which were removed during its last renovation 20 years ago.

photo via flickr creative commons

The Noah's Ark attraction at Kennywood Park is celebrating its 80th birthday with a retro makeover.

Park officials concede the ark's renovation 20 years ago wasn't exactly a hit.

“We're looking at doing a pretty extensive renovation to the attraction, to kind of take it back to the classic funhouse style — a little bit of what had been taken away in the renovation in 1996,” Kennywood spokesman Nick Paradise told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We are trying to get it back to what a lot of people remember from their childhood.”

Additions to Noah's Ark will include the return of the giant whale's mouth, which guests walked through atop a springy, squishy tongue structure. Paradise told the paper that favorite features, such as vibrating floors and the animal theme, will remain.

“I think the public reaction and sentiment … was that it wasn't what people wanted from the attraction,” he says. “They wanted a very classic feel … the classic, almost-hokey stunts … that the ride pulled.”

The renovations are expected to be completed when Kennywood opens in the spring. 

––Richard Cook


photo by richard cook


#Debate: Sticking with the stickers

It’s an annual part of vehicle upkeep in Pennsylvania, affixing that little registration sticker to your license plate. But by next year, that sticker may be a thing of the past.

PennDOT recently announced plans to eliminate the registration stickers in 2017, but it’s getting some push-back from police officers and Pennsylvania lawmakers.

The change is estimated to save $3.1 million in manufacturing and distribution costs. PennDOT plans to use some of the money to set up a grant program for new cameras on police cars that will scan the license plates to confirm the vehicle is registered and insured.

But State Rep. Dom Costa is leading an effort to stick with the stickers. 

Costa, a Pittsburgh police chief, has introduced a bill to keep the stickers, and he says it has strong support from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. 

“No one has agreed to [eliminating the stickers] — not until we get something to protect law enforcement,” Costa told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He said that his office was “swamped” with calls from law enforcement officials after PennDOT announced its plans.

Kurt Myers, PennDOT’s deputy secretary for driver and vehicle services, told the paper that use of license plate stickers is “old technology, past its prime.” 

Also in 2017, drivers who renew online will be able to save a copy of and print a permanent registration card on demand. Future plans also include allowing customers eventually to upload their registration cards to their smart phones and eliminate the requirement to print a copy altogether.

––Nuria Marquez


Categories: The 412