Coney Island opens for the season this weekend ++ the Cyclone turns 90
Beach season is almost here; Coney Island officially opens this weekend, on Saturday, April 8. The beach doesn't open for swimming until Memorial Day, the boardwalk, rides and attractions will be open for business. On Sunday, April 9, the 32nd annual "Blessing of the Rides" will take place at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, followed by free Wonder Wheel rides to the first 97 people. (to celebrate the wheel's 97th year) More info on the park's Facebook page. While you're there, you can take a trip down memory lane at the Coney Island History Project's exhibition center. It's located by the Wonder Wheel entrance, and contains artifacts, photographs, maps, films, and ephemera from Coney Island's past.
Down the boardwalk from the Wonder Wheel, Luna Park, including the Cyclone, opens from April 8-April 18 for Spring Break, and then on weekends only until May 26. Visit Luna Park's website for a further breakdown of their operating hours. On April 9, if you get there early enough, the first 100 people ride the Cyclone for free as part of Luna Park's opening ceremony. The Cyclone marks its 90th year this June, and to celebrate there's a block party on June 25. More details on that still to come.
Siren Festival is no more, but you can still see live music in Coney Island at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, which has now been open for almost a year. Their summer calendar is still to be announced, but Rancid's tour with The Bouncing Souls and Jake Burns passes through on August 6. Echo & The Bunnymen and Violent Femmes also play the Amphitheater, on July 12. For something totally different, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Mary Wilson (formerly of The Supremes) & Martha Reeves (of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) play the Amphitheater on August 24, and tickets are on sale.
We're still awaiting details on more of our favorite Coney Island summer events, like the Mermaid Parade which happens this year on Saturday, June 17, and the Friday night fireworks schedule. Stay tuned for more on those.