Throughout the 7-year run of UW-Green Bay’s popular Grandparents’ University, photos with the school mascot and trips to Bay Beach Amusement Park have been among the many highlights for grandparents and grandkids alike.
This year, the two elements came together as the lovable Phlash Phoenix made a Bay Beach cameo — and rode its newest and most popular attraction, the Zippin Pippin roller coaster.
Phlash sat at the front of the wooden coaster — rumored to have been Elvis Presley’s favorite ride while at its previous location in Memphis — during a coaster run Thursday evening, July 12. Flapping his oversized mascot wings on the first ascent, Phlash nearly seemed to take flight as the Pippin zipped around the roller coaster track. Onlookers and fellow coaster-riders, many of them GPU participants, seemed to delight in the presence of the bird.
Phlash offered an enthusiastic thumbs-up as he exited the ride, but offered no verbal comment because everyone knows mascots can’t talk. It is widely assumed, though not confirmed, that Phlash is the first mascot to ride the coaster.
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