From snow to smiles.
Despite a nor’easter that hit the city with several inches of snow just days earlier, most Coney Island establishments opened their doors to the public for their annual grand opening celebrations over the weekend of March 24 and 25.
“This weekend we were excited to kick off the official opening of the amusement district and welcome in visitors for the 2018 season,” said Events, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the Alliance for Coney Island Cindy Godla. “Despite the temperatures, we had an amazing turnout which is a true sign that spring is here in Coney Island. We really want to make sure guests have a memorable experience when visiting and this year is sure to deliver with our ever-expanding amusement district, from the summer opening of the much-anticipated Ocean Wonders to our lineup of great events including Friday night fireworks and our music festival.”
“Our opening is a sure sign that spring has arrived and we can’t wait to see everyone enjoying the outdoors,” added Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance.
“Millions will come from every corner of our city and far beyond to enjoy the growing list of family-friendly activities, eats and experiences. I look forward to a fun and safe Coney Island season,” agreed Councilmember Mark Treyger.
Plenty of people braved a bit of chilly weather to enjoy the rides.
On Sunday, March 25 at 10:45 a.m., Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park hosted its traditional “Blessing of the Rides.” The event included a salute to the flag presented by the Ceremonial Unit of the FDNY, a ribbon cutting ceremony and free admission to the park for a local organization.
The event was hosted by park owners Dennis and Steve Vourderis and it marked the 98th Anniversary of the Wonder Wheel.
“Deno’s @WonderWheelPark is open for the 2018 #ConeyIsland season,” the family owned park said via Twitter. “(Thank you) to @BPEricAdams @MarkTreyger718 @NYPD60Pct @FDNY and all who came out for opening day. The Park is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays including spring break, April 2-6 from 12PM, weather permitting.”
Following that, the annual Egg Cream Christening of the Cyclone roller coaster was presided over by Borough President Eric Adams.
“Coney Island is truly the People’s Playground,” said Adams. “For more than a century, experiences at our sensational seaside attractions have defined the lives of millions of children and families in Brooklyn and beyond. The future of fun along the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk couldn’t be brighter, and I cannot wait to see more memories made in the amusement season ahead.”
The first 98 guests in line for the Wonder Wheel and the first 100 guests waiting to board the Cyclone were be able to go on the historic rides for free.