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Coney Island Illuscination & Deno's Wonder Wheel posters in Stillwell Station. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Coney Island Illuscination & Deno's Wonder Wheel posters in Stillwell Station. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Stillwell Terminal is lined with vivid posters for Ringling’s Coney Island Illuscination, which opens on June 17, and for Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, whose landmark Wonder Wheel celebrates its 90th birthday this year! On Friday, Ringling’s sleek blue-and-yellow striped circus tent was raised for its second season in Coney Island. Photos of the tent raising from start to finish can be found in Ringling’s photo album on Facebook as well as Amanda Stevens’ flickr set.

In 2009, the Coney Island circus made history by bringing “The Greatest Show On Earth” back under “The Big Top” for the first time since 1954. Justin Case, who rode a tiny bicycle through a ring of fire, was our favorite performer in last year’s Coney Island Boom-A-Ring. This season’s all new show features illusionist David DaVinci, a trio of Italian clowns, Russian acrobats, Chinese Kung Fu masters and more!

Coney Island Illuscination's Empresses of the Air, Widny Neves and Viktoriya Medeiros. Photo via Ringling Coney Island's Facebook

Coney Island Illuscination's Empresses of the Air, Widny Neves and Viktoriya Medeiros. Photo via Ringling Coney Island's Facebook

Last month ATZ had a history trivia contest to give away two Family Four Paks for opening weekend of Coney Island Illuscination. Readers who sent in correct answers were eligible for a drawing for the circus tickets. Congrats to our two winners –Bill F. of Old Bethpage, NY, and Jim A. of Smithtown, NY. Enjoy the show!

Bill and Jim were among several people who correctly answered question # 2: “Tell us the name of a Coney Island attraction that was named after a member of the inventor’s family! Name of inventor and relationship to family member also required!” One correct answer is Luna Park–the original Luna Park, of course– which opened in 1903 and was named after park co-owner Elmer “Skip” Dundy’s sister Luna. Another correct answer is the Virginia Reel, a popular ride that made its debut in 1908 at Luna Park. It was designed by Henry E. Riehl, who named the ride after his daughter, Luna Virginia Riehl. With the rebirth of Luna Park Coney Island, will Luna become a popular girl’s name once again?

The Virginia Reel at Luna Park, 1910. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division via flickr

The Virginia Reel at Luna Park, 1910. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division via flickr

Related posts on ATZ...

August 31, 2010: Snapshots of the Coney Island Illuscination

May 28, 2010: You Are Invited to the Opening of Luna Park in Coney Island!

May 20, 2010: Trivia Contest! Win VIP Circus Tickets to Coney Island Illuscination

December 23, 2009: Coney Island School Bus Lot Has Gotta Go! The Circus Is Coming

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Would you like to win free tickets for the Coney Island circus’s opening weekend show? Skip down to the next graf! First off, we’re thrilled that Ringling Bros. Circus is coming back to Coney Island this summer after last year’s successful run of their Coney Island Boom-A-Ring, which entertained over 160,000 visitors and employed over 300 local residents. In 2009, the Coney Island circus made history by bringing “The Greatest Show On Earth” back under “The Big Top” for the first time since 1954.

The Big Top will be back at the Boardwalk and 15th Street from June 17 through September 6 with an exciting new show. Coney Island Illuscination stars master illusionist David DaVinci, the Kung Fu Kings from China, a trio of Italian clowns and more. ATZ is giving away two Family Four Paks –that’s 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 drinks– donated by the Ringling Circus. The tickets are VIP floor seats (!) good for all ages and are for Sunday, June 20. The winners can choose between the 1 pm or 5 pm performances.

Kung Fu King, Sun Junjie diving through hoops of razor-sharp sabers -- blindfolded! Photo courtesy of Ringling Coney Island

Kung Fu King, Sun Junjie diving through hoops of razor-sharp sabers -- blindfolded! Photo courtesy of Ringling Coney Island

Instead of just picking a couple of names out of a hat, ATZ wanted to make it more interesting for our readers, so we’ve created a Coney Island history trivia contest. All you have to do to be eligible for the drawing for the circus tickets is send us one correct answer to one of the questions. The more correct answers you submit, the more chances you have to win. We’ll post the answers along with source links when the contest is over.

The deadline for submissions is either Thursday, May 27, or when we’re up to our eyeballs in hundreds of correct answers, whichever comes first! We’ll post an update here if it begins to look like the contest will conclude before the 27th. This is our first contest, so we’re winging it. Send your answers via email to hello[AT]triciavita[DOT]com.

Now for the questions….

1. Boyton’s Sea Lion Park, Steeplechase Park, Luna Park, Dreamland, and Astroland are the most famous of Coney Island’s historic amusement parks. Can you tell us the names of any other Coney Island parks from the past and their approximate dates of operation?

2. Tell us the name of a Coney Island attraction that was named after a member of the inventor’s family! Name of inventor and relationship to family member also required!

UPDATE June 5, 2010:

Congrats to our two winners –Bill F. of Old Bethpage, NY, and Jim A. of Smithtown, NY. Enjoy the show! Bill and Jim were among several people who correctly answered question # 2. The answers are revealed in “Ringling Circus Back in Coney Island, Congrats to Trivia Contest Winners!”

Ringling Bros. Big Top in Coney Island, August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Ringling Bros. Big Top in Coney Island, August 15, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Related posts on ATZ...

August 31, 2010: Snapshots of the Coney Island Illuscination

December 23, 2009: Coney Island School Bus Lot Has Gotta Go! The Circus Is Coming

September 3, 2009: Coney Island Baby: Cyclone, the Mini Donkey at the Ringling Circus

August 20, 2009: Q & A with Coney Island Boom A Ring Circus Star Justin Case

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