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    Busch Gardens Williamsburg to open during winter months

    January 5, 2021 GMT

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Busch Gardens Williamsburg is keeping its gates open during the winter for the first time since it opened 45 years ago, park officials said.

    The popular theme park is looking at ways to rethink its operations by hosting smaller limited capacity special events, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

    “We had to figure out how to operate safely and how to operate (economically) and still give our members and guests something that they love doing,” park spokeswoman Cindy Sarko said.

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    The park said it will operate on certain weekends in January, February and March for three new limited capacity events, including Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day. The winter events will be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and will admit a maximum of 4,000 people each for each of the slots on those days, the park said. Busch Gardens held similar limited capacity events last year.

    Being open in January and February also has been a request of patrons for years, Sarko said. The park typically opens in mid-March for the beginning of the season.

    SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the parent company of Busch Gardens, operates parks including SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld San Antonio.