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Sikeston girl in for thrills, coasters at 'Dream Nite'

Friday, September 14, 2007

SIKESTON -- When Abby Harper received a package in the mail from Six Flags two weeks ago telling her she was one of six Dream Nite winners, she thought it was a scam.

"I didn't think it was real at first," the 15-year old said, adding that she had never heard of it before. "But then my mom got on the phone and got all the details."

Abby and the other five Dream Nite winners can invite up to 100 guests and will have the complete park at their disposal for the night. The visit includes admission, free parking, complimentary food and beverages, according to a news release from the theme park.

"Dream Nite is our way of saying 'thank you' to our season pass holders for their support and loyalty," said Carol Silver, Six Flags director of entertainment, in a prepared news release. "We're extremely excited for all our winners and are planning to truly make this a night they'll never forget."

That's just what Abby wants. "I'm really looking forward to having a good time and kind of relax and have fun with all my friends and stuff," she said.

Her mom is also looking forward to it. "It's probably been three or four years since I've been to Six Flags," Andrea Harper said, citing summer sports schedules. "So this will be a nice change. It will be really neat."

Staff at the park is also excited, said Elizabeth Gotway, public relations manager at the St. Louis office. "It's pretty cool," she said. "It's been very successful, and the winners have been really excited about it."

This is actually the first year Six Flags St. Louis has done Dream Nite. "You're automatically entered, so some people may not have even known we do it," Gotway said. Sixteen of the themeparks are having Dream Nites.

An active Red Pepper Pep Squad member and cheerleader, Abby is a bit disappointed that she'll miss tonight's football game, but going to Six Flags will be worth it, she said. She also can't take along some of her close friends because they have to cheer at the game, Abby added.

But still, she has about 80 people -- family and friends -- lined up to go to Six Flags tonight. "A lot of people have asked me about it and are going," Abby said.

Although it's mostly teens attending, there will also be some adults. Andrea Harper said she's been busy lining up parents to drive them to St. Louis, since most of Abby's guests are under 16.

Abby said she is looking forward to the short lines and all the rides, but especially her favorite, Mr. Freeze. She said: "It's the scariest, I think, and gives you an adrenaline rush."

Although the night has been set aside for those six winners and their 100 guests each, there will be a few others there: the two ambassador children of the local Children's Miracle Network and their guests, totalling about 50 more people. "We thought it would be a really neat thing for the ambassador children," Gotway said.

While there, the winners and their guests will get to see a few of the transformations in place for Fright Fest, which takes place during four weekends in October, she added.