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Labor Day Ferris wheel lighting at the Santa Monica Pier

Published on August 13, 2021

The Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will be lit red, white, and blue and feature a waving US flag on Friday, September 3 to Monday, September 6 to celebrate Labor Day.

Labor Day is observed the first Monday in September as an annual celebration of the economic and social accomplishments of the American workforce. The holiday developed in the mid-1800s when labor organizers called for a federal holiday to recognize the many achievements workers have made to the United States.

Historians have established that the first Labor Day holiday in the United States took place in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The event, organized by the Central Labor Union, was a success and was held again the following year. Other labor unions, organizations, and states recognized the importance of celebrating U.S. workers and started to adopt their own Labor Day holidays. This momentum began to gain interest amongst state legislatures; New York was the first state to introduce a bill, but Oregon was the first to pass a law recognizing Labor Day, on February 21, 1887. During 1887, four more states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – passed laws creating a Labor Day holiday. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

Pacific Park will join other landmarks across the country in displaying red, white and blue colors in observance of the holiday for the weekend of September 3-6.

This special lighting event will take place on the evening of Friday, September 3 to Monday, September 6. 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 Labor Day

Friday, September 3 to Monday, September 6
dusk (around 7 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 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.


Feature image courtesy of @alexc43