Lighting of the Pacific Wheel for Memorial Day
This event has expired. Please visit the Events Calendar for current listings.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. It is observed on the last Monday of May. The holiday was originally established on May 30, 1868, by General John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans of the American Civil War. Logan declared that the day should be a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The first large observance of Decoration Day was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. By the late 1800s, Decoration Day was being observed in most states of the Union. In 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as a federal holiday to be observed on the last Monday of May.
Today, Memorial Day is a day for Americans to remember and honor all those who have died in service to their country. There are many different ways to celebrate Memorial Day. Some people visit cemeteries or memorials to pay their respects to the fallen. Others hold family gatherings or participate in parades. Memorial Day is also a time for many Americans to enjoy the start of summer by spending time outdoors with family and friends.
Pacific Park regularly programs the Ferris wheel to display seasonal programming and themed light designs for holidays and special occasions. The Pacific Wheel’s state-of-the-art lighting package was installed in 2016 and can display over 1.6 million different colors and animate patterns and icons in 24 frames per second. The energy-efficient LEDs on the face of the Ferris wheel are powered by solar arrays inside Pacific Park. The light programs are curated and designed by Pacific Park staff. Each design is manually animated; some designs can take hours of programming. The aim is to provide fun, high-energy, and sometimes whimsical designs to entertain guests on the Santa Monica Pier and surrounding beaches.