20 years after taking the plunge, 2 Wisconsin couples renew vows at Freak Fest on Giant Drop
GURNEE, Ill. — In 1997, over 200 couples took the ultimate plunge and were married on the Giant Drop during the ride’s grand opening at Six Flags Great America.
Twenty years later, two Wisconsin couples took the plunge again and renewed their vows during Fright Fest while monsters joined in the festivities.
Eric and Andi Hanson, of Waukesha, were one of the couples who came back to Six Flags to renew their vows Friday. The couple was married there in 1997 after Andi heard an ad on the radio to win a wedding at the amusement park.
“I heard an ad for it on the radio, and I knew how much Eric loved coasters so that’s why we did it,” Andi said about how they selected their wedding venue. “We just had a lot of memories at Great America, and we still go every year.”
The event this past weekend was also a reunion for the Hansons’ original wedding party, who had joined them when they made their vows.
“We were able to get the whole wedding party together just about, so it was a ton of fun,” she said.
The event included cutting a ceremonial funnel cake in honor of the couples’ and the ride’s 20th anniversaries.
Although Andi and Eric’s original vows were in May, their vow renewal took place in October with the monsters of Great America’s Fright Fest.
“They didn’t break character the whole time, not even when we were back stage,” Andi said.
The second couple to renew their vows Friday were Jennifer and Lynton Hansen, of Raymond. Twenty years ago when they heard the radio ad for a wedding at Six Flags, they felt it was too good of a deal to pass up.
“My husband was 22 and I was 21, and it was a radio station in Milwaukee, they were looking for couples to take the ultimate plunge,” Jennifer said. “I looked at my husband and I said we should totally do that, because we were in the process of saving up for a wedding in four years.”
To this day, their children love to tell the story of how their parents got married at Great America, and the couple looks forward to telling their grandchildren someday.
“Can you imagine our grandkids some day when we tell them we got married at Six Flags,” Jennifer remembers asking her husband when they were considering a new wedding venue.
It was their daughter who saw a tweet from Great America looking for couples to renew their vows during Fright Fest. It was the couple’s first time at Fright Fest, but from now on they plan to go every year.
“We’ve always wanted to go to Fright Fest, but we never had the time,” she said. “And it was so cool, we felt like VIPs the entire night.”
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