Niketa Watson

Ticket sales end midnight Wednesday

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
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Gay Day at Six Flags has been held every year on Pride parade weekend since 1997. This year the parade moved to June, but the celebration in the park, now renamed Out in the Park, remains on the third Sunday in September.

This year’s event, along with the name change, features a “family picnic” meal from 2-4 p.m. at the pavilion located between The Titan and the New Texas Giant, highlighted by a performance by comedian Paul J. Williams as Sister Helen Holy, entertaining during the picnic.

This year, Out in the Park is sponsored by HELP’s Centers for LGBT Health and Wellness in Arlington and Fort Worth. Dallas Voice and Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau are cohosting the event.

Tickets are $48.45 and include parking, a “family” picnic lunch, entertainment, raffle items and giveaways. That is a significant discount off the regular admission of $82.99, which doesn’t include food or parking.

Only those who have purchased special Out In The Park tickets can participate in the picnic, but season ticket holders can participate by paying a fee of $24.95, which will cover parking and the family picnic gathering. And Out in the Park tickets are only available through midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 11, and won’t be available for purchase at the gate.

Tickets are available at SixFlags.com/OverTexas. Then in the top banner, click on Enter Promo Code and type outinthepark. That takes you to the discounted tickets.

Six Flags’ friendly staff

Among the LGBT staff welcoming guests to Out in the Park at Six Flags will be First Aid and Safety Supervisor Niketa Watson. Watson’s job is year-round, but she said summer, when the guests are streaming through the park every day, is her favorite time of the year.

She said she offers medical treatment when needed and makes sure everyone’s doing things safely in the park. Usually the medical treatment involves bandages for blisters and, during the summer, attending to overheated guests. Most people, she said, perk up with some Gatorade and a short rest before going on their way to enjoy more rides.

Watson also does ride audits making sure coasters, parachutes, tea cups, cars and bobsleds and other attractions are being operated safely. She offered a few examples of her work:

At the haunted houses in the upcoming Fright Fest, she’s moved some props to assure safe walking areas, and she’s added some lighting to highlight stairs.

Watson said her favorite ride is the Texas Titan roller coaster, but she’s looking forward to trying the Aquaman Power Wave coaster coming next season. She described it as a one-of-a-kind coaster and water ride all in one.

For those who will be staying late at Out in the Park and looking for dinner after the “family lunch” that afternoon, Watson suggested checking out her favorite restaurant, Chop Stix, a new Chinese restaurant located near the Tower.

Usually Six Flags winds down its season with Fright Fest then opens on weekends for Holiday in the Park before gearing up for the next spring/summer season. But just this week, the company announced the park will be open year-round on weekends, starting this fall.