NAVY PIER — Navy Pier has announced the last call for riding its Ferris wheel, which is being replaced next summer.
Navy Pier's existing Ferris wheel, 600 E. Grand Ave., will make its last spin Sept. 27, the state's largest tourist attraction said. Those who ride the Ferris wheel from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept. 27, will get to ride the wheel for free. A fireworks show at 8 p.m. Sept. 27 will formally send off the wheel the city has known and loved for two decades.
The existing Ferris wheel, which was installed in 1995 and just renovated last year, is being replaced by a new, taller wheel next summer as part of Navy Pier's centennial celebration. The new wheel will rise 50 feet higher than the existing Ferris wheel, fit more passengers, and include climate-controlled gondolas.
A rendering of the new Ferris wheel opening next summer. [Navy Pier Inc.]
More than 63,000 people every month ride the wheel, which remains one of Navy Pier's most recognizable attractions and was inspired by the first-ever Ferris wheel that debuted at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Nick Shields, a spokesman for Navy Pier, said the existing wheel will be "dismantled and sold," but did not say whether it will be sold as a whole or in pieces. The new wheel is being privately financed with a loan from Fifth Third Bank, Shields said.
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