RSVP to Ride the Pacific Wheel for Free

The Santa Monica attraction is merrily marking the 125th anniversary of the Ferris wheel.

What to Know

  • Thursday, June 21
  • The first 1,893 people to RSVP ride free
  • Santa Monica Pier

Naming all the sorts of grand occasions and frou-frou places that require, or at least politely request, an RSVP?

A wedding springs to mind, as do happenings like retirement parties and anniversary dinners. Basically, all of the soirées that are a bit dressy, a bit over-the-top, and definitely not about shorts and tank tops and zinc oxide hold fast to the tradition of RSVPdom.

But every so often, if the day is especially magical, you do need to submit your RSVP to a Ferris wheel, an attraction that is about shorts and tank tops and sunblock and letting your hair free in the Pacific breeze.

No, the Pacific Wheel at Santa Monica Pier doesn't typically ask visitors to réspondez vous s'il vous plâit, but it is doing just that for a monumental happening on Thursday, June 21.

You're exactly right, if you just shouted out, upon reading the date, "why golly, that's the 125th anniversary of the Ferris wheel!"

And while time-traveling back to 1893 isn't a possibility, nor is riding the wondrous wheel seen at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in that momentous year, you can ride the beautiful modern-day Pacific Wheel, for free.

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A Ferris wheel that stands as "the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel," oh yeah. Nope, it hasn't been around since 1893, but the Pacific Wheel firmly occupies the center of many Angelenos' hearts.

So how to step aboard this icon without paying a cent?

You'll want to be among the first 1,893 people to RSVP for a free ride at the Pacific Park favorite on June 21. Simply visit the Ferris wheel's 125th anniversary site and let the Pacific Wheel people know you'll be there.

Something super-neato that's on the day's roster? Members of the Ferris family will be there to help summon the pomp and circumstance.

How often do you get to ride a Ferris wheel in the vicinity of the Ferris family tree?

You'll also receive a commemorative pressed penny, in honor of amazing invention created by George Washington Gale Ferris. Other tradition-filled to-dos will dot the day, including a look back at "popular products that debuted during the 1893 World's Fair."

And if you can't be in Santa Monica on June 21, but you will be in the Windy City?

What luck: The Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier is partnering with the Pacific Wheel, all to mark the 125th anniversary of the Ferris wheel.

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