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St Patrick’s Day Ferris wheel lighting at the Santa Monica Pier

Published on March 11, 2022

The Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will be lit green on Thursday, March 17 to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

Irish eyes will be smiling at the 174,000 green led lights on Pacific Park’s Ferris wheel for St. Patrick’s Day. Pacific Park will be joining other landmarks from across the globe including The Sydney Opera House, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Niagara Falls, and the London Eye, in going green for St Patrick’s Day.

The greening of the Santa Monica Pier has been a long tradition at Pacific Park. In recent years, the Pacific Wheel has become an even more brilliant green on the day when “everyone is Irish” with fun displays of shamrocks and surprises. The light program will begin at dusk (around 7 PM) and play throughout the evening. The best place to see the lights is from the pier boardwalk or beaches south of the pier. You can also enjoy watching the light program online at


Special Lighting of the Pacific Wheel for St Patrick’s Day 2022

Thursday, March 17
dusk (around 6 – 7 PM) to midnight

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland, is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, the assumed date when Saint Patrick died. It was emigrants, particularly to the United States, who transformed St. Patrick’s Day into a largely secular holiday of revelry and celebration of things Irish. Cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants, who often wielded political power, staged the most extensive celebrations, which included elaborate parades. Boston held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737, followed by New York City in 1762. Since 1962 Chicago has colored its river green to mark the holiday. Irish and non-Irish alike commonly participate in the “wearing of the green”—sporting an item of green clothing or a shamrock, the Irish national plant, in the lapel. Corned beef and cabbage are associated with the holiday, and even beer is sometimes dyed green to celebrate the day. Although some of these practices eventually were adopted by the Irish themselves, they did so largely for the benefit of tourists.

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 @pacpark