New pier Ferris wheel opening and lighting ceremony delayed until Wed., May 28th

The all-new $1.5-million Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier will be open to the public for the first time Wednesday, May 28th.

The Ferris wheel grand opening is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., with a lighting ceremony scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Pacific Park staff said the best vantage points are beachside and in the upper parking lot adjacent to the park.

Following the lighting ceremony, all visitors can ride the new Ferris wheel free from 9:15 p.m. to midnight. Pacific Park will also provide free popcorn, cotton candy and live music at the ceremony.

Local dignitaries and business leaders plan to attend the community event, including Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz, Santa Monica City Council members and Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau chief executive officer Misti Kerns.

“We have strived to create a Ferris wheel that Santa Monica and all of Southern California can be proud of for years to come,” says Jeff Klocke, director of marketing and sales at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

“We are extremely excited to present the all-new Ferris wheel’s enhanced lighting features punctuated [May 28th] by a pyrotechnics extravaganza that will be set to synchronized music.”

The first lighting of the new Ferris wheel will be showcased by a pyrotechnics show by Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, which has created fireworks shows for Super Bowls, Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Statue of Liberty’s 100th anniversary tribute and other theme parks, including Disneyland, Disney World and Six Flags. The pyrotechnics show will be synchronized to music.

The new Pacific Park wheel replaces the former nine-story Ferris wheel that had appeared in television shows and movies and given over three million rides in its 12 years of operation.

Pacific Park staff said the new Pacific Wheel has 160,000 energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights that will provide computer-generated lighting entertainment every evening. The enhanced LED lighting will also provide 75 percent greater energy savings than the previous incandescent bulbs, staff said.

With the adaptation of its solar-power application, the Pacific Park wheel will continue to be the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, park staff said.

The new $1.5-million Ferris wheel was manufactured by Chance Morgan Inc. in Wichita, Kansas and stands 130 feet above the Pacific Ocean, featuring 20 gondolas with a maximum six riders per car and accommodating up to 600 riders per hour.

Information and hours of operation, (310) 260-8744 or www.pac park.com/.

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