San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to observe Sesquicentennial with Giant Wheel

San Francisco’s 1,017 acre Golden Gate Park, set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020, boasts 24 million visits each year as guests enjoy its historic institutions, concerts and sprawling lawns. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Golden Gate Park, Mayor London N. Breed announced an illuminated 150-foot observation wheel is among the attractions arriving in 2020. Being moved from Cincinnati, Ohio, the wheel will provide riders with sweeping views from the ocean to downtown San Francisco.

The observation wheel will launch on April 4, 2020, and operate until March 1, 2021. It will be located at Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse, the outdoor plaza near the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences and the Japanese Tea Garden. The wheel was commissioned by SkyStar and built by Mondial Rides. It features 36 fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas, seating six passengers each for a 12-minute ride.

This will be the first time an observation wheel of this scale has operated in San Francisco since Golden Gate Park hosted the Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, where the Firth Wheel was a major attraction, standing at 120 feet and carrying ten people per carriage.

The yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary will include major events and attractions, including a free park-wide community celebration and observation wheel rides on April 4th—exactly 150 years after the California Legislature created Golden Gate Park in 1870. The celebration will bring together thousands of San Franciscans and visitors to experience Everybody’s Park and all that it has to offer for people of all ages and interests.

“Golden Gate Park is a San Francisco treasure and a place where everybody can enjoy the best that the city has to offer,” said San Francisco Mayor Breed.  “We want to celebrate the Park and give people a new way to appreciate the beauty of our city during this 150th anniversary celebration. This observation wheel is just the first of many exciting announcements we will be sharing in the coming months as we get ready for the coming year-long celebration.” Further information regarding the year-long celebrations will be announced in January as part of an official launch event.

The celebration of “Everybody’s Park” is being organised by the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The anniversary events will bring together more than 150 cultural institutions and community groups to pay tribute to Golden Gate Park.

2020 also sees the 125th anniversary of the de Young Museum located in Golden Gate Park. Thomas Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco commented, “The park has been an incredible home to the de Young museum for the past 125 years and we eagerly await the opportunity to see it from new heights when the observation wheel opens in 2020”.

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