Something sweet and salty at Kennywood’s Holiday Lights.

Something sweet and salty at Kennywood’s Holiday Lights.

Holiday lights

This past Christmas, I attended Kennywood’s Holiday Lights for the first time. Back in September, my work company provided two tickets to use at Kennywood at any point during the remainder of the season. Kevin and I finally had a chance to use the tickets close to the last day of the year.

We had no idea what to expect at Holiday Lights. I was a little disappointed in the lack of efficiency with the parking and admission line situation. It took about an hour just to get into the park, so Kennywood did extend the hours of operation which helped buffer the situation.

The wait for food was also an hour long at any place outside. I think I would have rather braced it and gone to Kennywood on a very cold night with fewer crowds than a 50 degree December night packed with lines everywhere.

One of the lines we ended up waiting in was for barbeque at the Rogue BBQ food truck. Rogue BBQ’s home base is at the Golf Club in West Mifflin, but now has a regular spot at Kennywood. Rogue BBQ is a family owned catering (since 2012) and mobile vendor (since 2014).

tacos and Santa's mail box

I had a long time to think about my order, but tacos were the only option for me. I ordered the pulled pork tacos. Before I ate, I attempted to shove my tacos in Santa’s mailbox! There was a letter writing station for kids to write to Santa. After the letters are completed and sealed, the kids place their letters in a giant mailbox. Since we were there a few days after Christmas, I figured Santa would be sugared out and craving salty things!

At the last minute, I pulled my tacos back from the mail and sat down to eat them. Besides, the tacos would be too soggy by the time they reached Santa so I just had to eat them! My first bites were all tang from the sauce. The coleslaw was overpowering as well. The sauce and slaw seemed to be added last minute to the pork, so it wasn’t cohesive in flavor. All the wet toppings left the taco with a soupy consistency. I think I would have preferred the pork to be marinated in the sauce instead of overdressing the pork last minute. The flour shell was very standard. All in all, I rank this taco between a 1 and 2 on my taco scale. I think the quality of meat is there, just not the presentation.

Highlights of the night were riding in the front of the Jack Rabbit in December and experiencing Noah’s Ark with Christmas decorations. The animals were looking so cute with Santa Hats! I am definitely a roller coaster adrenaline junkie so I think if I go back to Kennywood, it would be in the summer or fall when I can ride more roller coasters. Back in the day, I actually worked at Kennywood as a ride operator. My domain was the Thunderbolt (a 1968 classic) as well as the Raging Rapids. I really enjoyed my time working at Kennywood. Back then, there was a taco stand across from the King Kahuna that had amazing ground beef soft tacos. That place needs to come back as well as other Kennywood classics. You stay as classy as you can Kennywood!

Price: $10 for two tacos.

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