Monday was expected to be a day of relief for some Louisville residents affected by the closing of Louisville’s public pools, as the Mardrian Group was giving away 300 free passes to Kentucky Kingdom this summer, but the giveaway went awry when an oversized crowd showed up and drew police presence.
The giveaway was scheduled to start at 1 p.m., but hundreds of people had already arrived by then. A large crowd around the door made it difficult for organizers to let anyone in, which led to a commotion at the front of the line as some people shouted at each other.
Police arrived on the scene about 30 minutes into the giveaway. Officers said they were because of a fight, but after investigating concluded there was no fight. They stayed to try to control the situation and tried to help organize the line.
An ambulance arrived just before 2 p.m. to tend to someone in line who had passed out while waiting, police said. She regained consciousness and was released from the ambulance shortly thereafter, they said.
Once organizers did manage to get people in the door, they were allowing three-to-five people in at a time. Officers said that they had to limit the number of people going in because they had to record their information to register them for the passes.
Many people in line left, complaining that the lack of organization and the slow-moving line weren’t worth the wait. The giveaway was scheduled to go until 6 p.m., but passes ran out before 3 p.m., according to a report from WLKY.
This giveaway was originally organized to help give people more summer activities after it was announced that Louisville’s public pools would be closed, according to a Facebook post from Councilwoman Jessica Green. Green shared the post on Saturday, but also sent out an email reminder just before 3 p.m. on Monday, after all the passes were already gone. Insider reached out to Green’s office for comment but did not immediately hear back. Councilman Mark Fox also shared the information via email after the passes were already gone.
In addition to this initiative, the city previously announced its partnership with a number of organizations in Louisville to create some affordable swimming events at local YMCA facilities. This is also intended to help those affected by the closing of the public pools.
Check out additional photos from the scene below.