Navy Pier announces details about new Ferris wheel

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Navy Pier has announced the name and opening date for the new Ferris wheel.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Navy Pier has announced new details about its the new Ferris wheel.

In honor of Navy Pier's 100th birthday this year, the ride will be called Centennial Wheel. It will open to the public at 12 p.m. on Friday, May 27.

The Centennial Wheel rises to 196 feet, almost 50 feet higher than the one it replaced.

Tickets for all-day ride passes, discounted seasonal pricing and more will go on sale starting Friday, May 20.

Officials said the new Centennial Wheel will also offer nightly light shows for Navy Pier visitors.

Navy Pier was a naval training facility during World War II. Afterward it served as a branch of the University of Illinois. And after years of neglect it was transformed into one of Chicago's top tourist destinations, drawing more than 8 million visitors a year. It is billed at the top-attended leisure destination in the Midwest.

The Pier stretches more than six city blocks and contains 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities.

Construction on the first-ever Navy Pier hotel is expected to begin next year.