When you visit a fair or theme park, it’s difficult not to spot the giant wheel towering above the ground.
February 14 might be known best as Valentine’s Day, but did you know it’s also National Ferris Wheel Day?
This famous date is the birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., the inventor of the ever-popular Ferris wheel.
It’s an excuse for people all over the country to celebrate National Ferris Wheel Day and take a ride on one of these famous moving wheels.
If you have never taken a ride before, why not use this day to make your first trip on a Ferris wheel?
History of National Ferris Wheel Day
The very first wheel of this kind was designed and built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. He designed it especially for the World’s Colombian Exposition in 1893, after graduating with a degree in civil engineering.
George Ferris was interested in designing and building bridges and eventually established his own company.
But in 1891, his attention turned to the large exposition in Chicago, Illinois, whose directors had challenged engineers to create something unique.
They wanted something that would rival the famous Eiffel Tower, which had attracted global attention at the Paris International Exposition just four years earlier.
Planners of the Chicago exposition were intrigued by Ferris’ design, but at first, they didn’t believe a giant rotating wheel would be safe.
However, George Ferris ultimately convinced them that it would work and managed to secure investments of $400,000 to construct the first Ferris wheel.
The colossal wheel had 36 cars and could hold more than 2,000 people in total. During the fair, 38,000 people took a ride on the Ferris wheel, where they could enjoy views from 26 stories high.
Just three years later, George Ferris died in 1896 at the age of 37. But his legacy lived on, and the original Ferris wheel continued to turn for another decade until it was shut down and demolished in 1906.
To this day, the Ferris wheel is a recognizable feature at any fairground. All over the world, it remains a popular attraction at large tourist destinations and local community fairs alike.
How To celebrate National Ferris Wheel Day
- Take a ride on a Ferris wheel – Whether you’re a seasoned fairground visitor or you’ve never been on a Ferris wheel before, National Ferris Wheel Day gives you the perfect excuse. Visit a fairground nearby or take a trip further afield to a famous Ferris wheel.
- Learn more about Ferris wheels – Why not use this special day to learn more about Ferris wheels and impress your friends? Many people have no idea that there is another reason to celebrate February 14!
- Introduce a friend to Ferris wheels – If you have a friend who has never taken a ride on a Ferris wheel, February 14 is a perfect time! Take a trip to the theme park together or suggest it to several friends as a group activity.
National Ferris Wheel Day FAQs
How many people can a Ferris wheel carry?
The number of people a Ferris wheel can hold depends entirely on the wheel itself. For example, the original “Chicago wheel” invented by George Ferris could hold 2,160 people in total.
But this doesn’t apply to all Ferris wheels, and many smaller fairground wheels have between 20-40 cars seating 2-4 people in each.
Where is the world’s tallest Ferris wheel?
The Ain Dubai in the city of Dubai is the world’s tallest Ferris wheel at 820 feet (250 meters). In 2021 it overtook the Las Vegas High Roller, which stands at 550 feet (167 meters) tall.
How long does a ride on a Ferris wheel last?
A typical ride on a Ferris wheel can last between 10-20 minutes. Generally, a Ferris wheel will make at least two rotations and allow passengers to get on and off during the first rotation.
The original Ferris wheel in 1893 stopped six times during the first rotation before giving passengers a non-stop ride the second time.
Why We Love National Ferris Wheel Day
Many of the world’s most famous cities have a Ferris wheel, including London, Jakarta, Tel Aviv, Helsinki, and Tokyo. So if you’re at one of these popular destinations on February 14, take a ride on a Ferris wheel to celebrate the day!
Since it coincides with Valentine’s Day, National Ferris Wheel Day is the perfect chance to go for a date on a Ferris wheel. Plan a date to a fairground or visit an exciting destination like Las Vegas to mark a special occasion together.
With so many fun facts about Ferris wheels, it’s great to have an excuse to share them with friends! So surprise the people you know by telling them about the interesting history of this unique theme park attraction.
National Ferris Wheel Day is the ideal time of year to visit a Ferris wheel and learn more about where this ride originally came from.
Whether it’s your first or hundredth time on a Ferris wheel, you’ll never forget the experience of seeing the sights from high off the ground!