New York, NY: Out in Events announced this week that Fairgrounds VIIII, better known as ‘Gay and Lesbian Day at Six Flags’, will take place Friday, September 14 from 6pm until midnight at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Fairgrounds is the largest private LGBT event in the United States. This year’s theme celebrates the fabulousness of fist-pumping Jersey with celebrity appearances by Bravo-TV’s The Real Houswives of New Jersey stars Melissa Gorga, Joe Gorga and Greg Bennett. Melissa Gorga will even perform her dance hits, On Display and Rockstar. Additional celebrity appearances include The Amazing Race’s Reichen Lehmkuhl and nightlife personality and recording artist Dina Delicious. DJs Steve Sidewalk, Seth Gold and DJ Barney of Philly will provide the musical entertainment. A portion of the net proceeds will benefit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund.
“We are going back to our roots and making this year’s event all about Jersey,” says co-founder Mark Nelson, the LGBT events planner and producer who helped found the annual Fairgrounds celebration. “New Jersey used to be the Jan to New York’s Marsha, but thanks to shows like Bravo-TV’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey and glittering stars like Melissa Gorga, the state has emerged as a mecca of fab-ulosity. Break out the hair gel and spray tan and get ready to fist pump as we celebrate being gay – Jersey style.”
Six Flags’ Fairgrounds launched nine years ago at Six Flags Great Adventure. “It was wildly successful from the start”, explains co-founder Gage Kristofer. Organizers estimate ten thousand gay men and women (and their friends) will attend Fairgrounds VIIII. “We welcome gay crowds from Washington DC, Boston, Pittsburg and the entire tri-state area. Fairgrounds is truly a coming together of lesbians, twinks, Chelsea boys, bears, homo thugs, club kids, and more – all uniting with pride.”
“Last year saw an influx of gay newlyweds and gay families with their children,” he adds.
Even the stars are excited. Says Greg Bennett, “I love theme parks. I love gay people and I love Melissa Gorga!”
Melissa Gorga has been going to Six Flags every year since she was ten years old and now takes her kids each summer. “Joe and I are really excited to come out for this year’s Fairgrounds. We know it will be an amazing crowd and I can’t wait to perform my new single.”
Batman the Ride is her favorite attraction. Reichen Lehmkuhl, who has never been to Six Flags Great Adventure, says he’s looking forward to “the scariest, baddest roller coaster there is.”
Lucky for him, Six Flags Great Adventure is world renown for its award-winning roller coasters. Amusement Today awarded El Toro coaster with its Golden Ticket for being the #2 top wooden coaster in the country. At a record-breaking 76 degree incline, El Toro features the steepest drop of any wooden roller coaster in the USA. They also awarded a Golden Ticket to the Nitro coaster, ranking it the #3 steel coaster in the country. Nitro blasts riders 230 feet in the air with a 215-foot drop at speeds approaching 80 mph.
There is also Green Lantern, a stand-up coaster that delivers a smooth, white-knuckled adventure, upside down on a 15-story ride of twisting steel!
All coasters will be open at Fairgrounds VIIII.
And for even more high-in-the-air thills, new this year is SkyScreamer, a towering swing ride that climbs twenty-four stories off the ground and then spins around at 40mph.
Even with the anticipated record crowd this year, the park can handle 60,000. Six Flags Great Adventure is prepared to keep ride lines moving swiftly at Fairgrounds VIIII. Plus, this year’s VIP pass insures quicker access. Fairgrounds VIIII is a closed private event. Season passes will not be honored. It is the one night each year when LGBT attendees can walk hand-in-hand and enjoy the open-air thrill rides without fear of harassment.
“Fairgrounds takes place right before October’s National Coming Out Day,” continues Nelson. “So we like to think of it as a pre-celebration to the coming out festivities. There’s so much to be proud of this year. Come out to Six Flags, because you were born this way, baby.”