published Friday, May 17th, 2013

Lake Winnie changes Military Day policy

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TICKET PRICES

Note: Ticket packages for children (2 and younger) and seniors (65 and older) are available April 13-May 23 and Sept. 3-29 when water park is closed; $18 pass includes gate admission and 14 ride tickets (rides are two to five tickets; additional individual tickets available).

Unlimited rides (ages 3-64)

* April 13-May 23: $26

* May 27-Sept. 2: $31.95 (includes Soak Ya admission)

* Sept. 3-29: $26

Unlimited rides (children and seniors)

* April 13-May 23: $10

* May 24-Sept. 2: $15.95

* Sept. 3-29: $10

Passport to Fun

* April 1-Oct. 27: $139.95 (valid for up to eight visits)

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park usually lets all retired and active military personnel get in free on Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year.

But because of the grand opening that day of SoakYa, Lake Winnie's new five-acre water park, the amusement park's "Military Day" policy has changed.

Instead of letting active and retired military personnel in free on Memorial Day, Lake Winnie will let them in at no charge on any of the nine Mondays between June and Aug. 5.

News of the suspension of military day on Memorial Day didn't go over well when Lake Winnie announced it Wednesday on its Facebook page.

By Thursday afternoon, 171 comments were posted -- most of them negative.

"Lake Winnie you should be ashamed!!!" one commenter wrote. "Military comes first!!!"

On Thursday morning, Lake Winnie officials used the park's Facebook page to announce the nine free Mondays for military personnel and veterans. The offer drew mainly positive comments, such as, "Lake Winnie you can't please everyone. Way to honor the military."

Park spokeswoman and co-owner Talley Green said Thursday, "We're just happy to be able to be offering even more days that military veterans and retired military can enjoy the park."

SoakYa had been due to open on May 24, but delays pushed the grand opening to May 27.

"We're getting there," Green said.

She said water is flowing in SoakYa's "lazy river" feature and all the park's water slides have been erected.

"Our lifeguards are hired and certified -- 35 of them," Green said.

Being open on Mondays is new for Lake Winnie, Green said. Before, the park only opened on Mondays on Labor Day and Memorial Day.

Once SoakYa opens, daily admission to the park will be $31.95. That price will include an unlimited ride pass and admittance to both the water park and the "dry" side of the amusement park.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township┬╣s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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