Big Crowd on Opening Day at Knoebels

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RALPHO TOWNSHIP -- Knoebels Amusement Resort kicked off its season with a splash on Saturday.

People hungry for a taste of outdoor fun packed rides and the campground.

Mary Goodeluinas of Kulpmont met her husband 41 years ago at Knoebels. Last year, they visited 54 times.

"It's friendly. Everybody is friendly. It's a beautiful place, nice staff, good food," said Goodeluinas.

Two generations of the Knoebels family were busy stamping hands on opening day. Brian Knoebel remembers back when he and his brothers could play kickball in the park. These days, the place is just too crowded with customers.

"We are constantly discussing things like parking, adding restrooms, more campsites, more rides, more food stands. We are ever changing, ever growing," he said.

Also in the booth, young Alexander Knoebel was learning the family trade.

"When I grow up, I think I want to take after my dad and do what he does."

Owners say the secret is finding the right mix of old and new. A ride called Over The Top is on its way from Italy this year.

"It will move you clockwise and counter-clockwise until it puts you over the top," said Stacy Ososkie, Knoebels spokesperson.

While new rides get a lot of attention, classics like the Pioneer Train are still pretty popular.

Knoebels offered a special deal on opening weekend. If you buy one Ride All Day Pass, you could get one free.

For now, Knoebels is only open on weekends. Weekdays will be added after Memorial Day.