Rich Howells

Hersheypark plans to reopen in July, Hershey entertainment venues hope for July and August shows

Hersheypark plans to reopen in July, Hershey entertainment venues hope for July and August shows
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The coronavirus pandemic has put most summer plans on pause, but Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania offered a sweet glimmer of hope today.

Representatives of the family theme park said on social media that, “given the information currently available,” they plan to open in July if the state of Pennsylvania permits them to. The message continues:

In April we announced that all current 2020 Season Passes were extended through June 30, 2021. As this situation continues to evolve, we wanted to provide flexibility to ensure you receive the full value of your 2020 Season Pass. All current 2020 Season Pass holders will receive one additional day for every public operating day that the park is closed during the 2020 season.

Summer tickets purchased before the start of our 2020 summer season will remain valid for any public operating day through June 30, 2021, including all of our seasonal events.

Our team is hard at work implementing a variety of new safety initiatives to welcome our guests back to a fun and safe environment. Such industry best practices will include enhancing our already stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols, social distancing, capacity management, the use of personal protective equipment, and increasing team member training. We will share more details closer to our reopening.

We appreciate your support during these uncertain times and hope to share the good news of our opening date as soon as we can.

The park has not yet decided if masks or other personal protective equipment will be required for entry, promising to “share our safety enhancements closer to reopening.”

ZooAmerica in Hershey will also open in July if the pandemic continues to wind down, and the Giant Center, Hersheypark Stadium, and the Hershey Theatre have canceled or postponed all shows until at least the end of July.

As of now, the Broadway musical “Anastasia” will come to the Hershey Theatre on July 21-26, followed by a handful of other shows spread throughout the rest of the year. Pop country duo Dan + Shay plan to bring their arena tour to the Giant Center on Oct. 11, followed by Jim Gaffigan’s rescheduled comedy show on Nov. 6. Rock bands Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard are still set for Aug. 11 at Hersheypark Stadium, but more information on that tour is expected to be announced soon.

Other popular summer parks like Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown and Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg have not committed to opening in July yet, but all of these vacation destinations, including Hersheypark, are waiting to get the green light when the state reaches the “green phase” of reopening, where all entertainment venues can open at 50 percent occupancy as long as they follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning.

Most Pennsylvania counties have entered the yellow phase as of today. According to Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to reopen Pennsylvania, “After a county transitions to the yellow phase, we will closely monitor for increased risk, such as significant outbreaks. If overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, we will transition the county to the green phase.”