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Olympic Games Ferris wheel lighting at the Santa Monica Pier

Published on July 28, 2021

The Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will salute the 613 members of Team USA on Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 8.

In celebration of the 23rd Games of the Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan, otherwise known as “The Olympics”, Pacific Park is lighting the Pacific Wheel with colors and images of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The nightly light program will feature 5 colored rings to symbolize the Olympic Rings, which have represented the games internationally for over 100 years. The Pacific Wheel will also display an 90-foot-tall waving American Flag to cheer on the 613 athletes that make up Team USA.

This special lighting event will take place on the evening of Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 8. 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 the Olympic Games

Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 8
dusk (around 7:30 PM) to midnight

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier


The Colors of the Olympic Rings

Pierre de Fredy, Baron de Coubertin was a French educator, historian and founder of the International Olympic Committee who many consider to be the “Father of the Olympic Games”. In 1912, he introduced the 5 locking rings as a symbol of unit amongst all countries. The 5 rings represent the 5 inhabited continents, Africa, Asia, America, Europe and Oceania.

The colors blue, yellow, black, green, and red were selected to represent all the colors of the countries’ flags used in the 1912 Olympics. The individual colors do not symbolize and specific continent or flag, rather all of the flags’ colors are represented on the rings. Many more countries participate in the Olympic Games today, so the rings’ colors do not currently have all of the countries’ colors today; the orange tone that is seen in flags of countries such as Bhutan, Armenia and Sri Lanka is not one of the 5 colors of the Olympic Rings.

This symbol of interlocking rings was meant to symbolize the union of the five continents of the world coming together to watch as their best athletes compete at the Olympic Games. Considering the symbol’s creation in 1913 was over 100 years ago, it is incredible the relevance the symbol still carries, and the power of the 5 combined colors. The Olympics are one of the most recognized (and protected) brands in history. The signs, songs, and symbols of the Modern Olympic games stir the emotions of people on every continent. And while competition is at the heart of the Games, the design of the Olympic symbols was driven by a spirit of unity.

The Olympics-themed light program on the Pacific Wheel features 5 colored rings to represent those in the Olympics logo. Pacific Park is beaming well-wishes to all of the athletes from all countries participating in this year’s summer games.

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 @alexc43