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Juneteenth Ferris wheel lighting at the Santa Monica Pier

Juneteenth Ferris wheel lighting at the Santa Monica Pier
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The Pacific Wheel is lit on Juneteenth with a brilliant light program of red, white, blue, green, red, and gold.

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is an annual observance celebrating the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

However, many people did not receive their freedom until over 2 years later. On the 19th of June, 1865, the US army arrived in Galveston, Texas, to ensure that all enslaved people be freed. In the 1870s, local churches and community groups raised funds to purchase ten acres of land and create Emancipation Park to host future Juneteenth celebrations in modern-day Houston. In 1980 “Emancipation Day in Texas” became a legal state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth. Elsewhere, the holiday is also referred to as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day.

Many continue to celebrate Juneteenth 151 years later. Throughout the nation people host cookouts, parades, and other gatherings to commemorate. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.

This special lighting event will take place on the evening of Saturday, June 19. The Ferris wheel lights can be seen from dusk until 11:35 PM each evening. Enjoy watching the light program online at

Special Lighting of the Pacific Wheel for Juneteenth

Saturday, June 19
dusk (around 8 PM) to midnight

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier


See the lights from home at

Pacific Park regularly programs the Ferris wheel to display seasonal programing 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.


Feature image courtesy of @stvrsnbrgr

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