An "Adult Night" event at Valleyfair turned into a nightmare for police as brawls broke out among the teeming crowds.
Demand for the event was huge, with reports suggesting 7,000-8,000 people turned up to enjoy "kid-free access" to rides – including the new North Star – and a preview of the upcoming hotdish/craft beer pairing event.
But things descended into mayhem, with the Shakopee Valley News reporting brawls repeatedly broke out. Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate said tensions were high between "groups out there that didn't like each other or get along."
Shakopee PD had to call in help from nearby Prior Lake, Savage and Carver County to handle the fighting.
Only one person was arrested by the end of the night (for disorderly conduct and obstruction), but that's only because everyone scattered when police arrived, the newspaper noted.
Speaking to GoMN, Tate added that he couldn't speak to the influence of alcohol or drugs on the rowdiness, but did say that "people were there to fight."
"Thankfully, we had enough resources to keep it from escalating any further," he added.
In a comment to GoMN, ValleyFair said there were only "two minor altercations" reported as visitors were leaving the park, which were "broken up by local and park authorities."
What the scene was like
ValleyFair's claim that only two altercations were reported during the evening was not agreed upon by some of those in attendance who witnessed several more scuffles.
"There were enough d bags being obnoxious rowdy and drunk that I watched the police get involved in more than three separate incidents," one commenter said on the Valley Fair Facebook page.
A video uploaded to Instagram (profanity warning) by jbrowntown15 shows a moment where one reveler appears to take a stun gun from one of the security guards.
A post shared by Justin Brown (@jbrowntown15) on May 25, 2017 at 9:41pm PDT
Some of those who turned up – only to be met with backups on the roads, huge lines to get in and long waits to get on rides – expressed their frustration on the Valleyfair Facebook page.
"It was a joke," Cierra Pohlman wrote. "Waited an hour and a half to get in line and then right when we got to the entrance before the ticket booth 60 something people were cutting line... just went home
"NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!!!" said Amanda Blotsky. "Ppl were absolutely animals!!! Police needed to be on in full force. What a horrible terrible lack of planning."
The events of Thursday evening attracted plenty of comment on Twitter from those in attendance.