|New ferris wheel, Pensacola Beach, July 2nd|
We started hearing about this monstrosity a few months back, after all the proper authorities had already approved it being built on our beach. That's when the drawings appeared in our local newspapers and on our local news.
A week ago, when Tropical Storm Debby was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, I went to Pensacola Beach to take some pictures. I didn't see any sign of the ferris wheel at that time. Apparently, after the storm left the area, the assembly began.
It's been said that "It looks like something built out of a giant Erector Set." It's already drawing a great deal of attention. I'm sure the lines will be long. Tourists, and most likely some locals too, are already clamoring to be the first to ride.
Personally, I think beaches should be left in their natural state, but that's just me. However, no one asked me. U.S. beaches, as are probably most of the beautiful beaches world wide, are primarily for tourists. Apparantly tourists want a Coney Island feel? So that's the new goal for Pensacola Beach. In the works, are plans for a water park, which will probably come on line by next year's tourist season.
Don't get me wrong about Coney Island. I've been there and it has a fun, carnival air. It's a cool place to visit, but I don't want that on our beach. For me, Pensacola Beach is all about the sugar-white sand and turquoise waters of the Gulf. I don't think of it as a place to ride a giant ferris wheel.
|View of the new ferris wheel from the Sound.|
I have to confess I wanted to see this thing up close and personal. So I went to the beach this morning with the sole purpose of snapping some pictures of our new tourist attraction. The kid in me thinks it's really cool. The adult in me looks at it with a sense of impending doom. "Oh, no, not on my beach."
It was a hazy summer morning, so the photos show skies more gray than blue. By the time I was ready to leave the beach the sun was starting to burn through the haze.
It was one of those hot, hot, HOT beach days. So hot the sand burns the feet. Even the water felt warm. I didn't go swimming, just walked along the edge of the surf.
|View from the beach.|
A few tidbits of information about ferris wheels. The first ferris wheel, built for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, was 264 ft. tall. The "London Eye" in London is 443 ft. (135 meters) tall. The "Singapore Flyer" in Singapore, built in 2008, is currently the tallest ferris wheel in the world at 541 ft. (165 meters). In the U.S., the ferris wheel at the Texas State Fair in Dallas is 212 ft. tall. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., the "Sky Wheel" is 200 ft. tall, the same as ours on Pensacola Beach.
If you're a ferris wheel afficianado, then I guess you'd better hurry on down to Pensacola Beach to ride on our new ferris wheel. If I was still a kid, I know I'd be excited too.