When the Wonder Wheel opened in 1920, it dazzled at night. But the lights were shut off in 1981; shortly after the Vourderis family took over the iconic ride, they dismantled the old lights, “fearing that the high-voltage system—which sparked when it rained—would endanger riders,” the Brooklyn Paper reports.
But this spring the Ferris wheel will glitter once more, this time powered by the sun. “Solar panels and 40-watt light bulbs are being affixed to the ride’s metal baskets,” the Paper reports, the former storing energy throughout the day to illuminate the latter once the sun goes down. (And what sun Coney Island gets, with that south-facing beach!) The work is expected to be finished by Memorial Day.
Meanwhile, Marty Markowitz is trying to secure $2 million in funding to light up the Parachute Jump; lighting on the decommissioned ride from 2006, which cost $1.4 million, has not been maintained because the borough president was disappointed with the design, the Paper reports.
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