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Wonder Wheel on the First Night of Spring. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Wonder Wheel on the First Night of Spring. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

In preparation for March 28th’s official opening of Coney Island’s rides, the cars–stationary and swinging– were put back on the Wonder Wheel today. Along with the open concession stands on the Boardwalk and the spinning rides in Deno’s Kiddie Park, it was the first sign of spring in Coney Island. Thanks to photographer Bruce Handy for this lovely first photo of the Wheel on the first night of spring! “I saw the wheel turning this morning, What a joy!!! Was away all day and when I got back to Coney the cars were on,” writes Bruce.

This year, the 90-year-old Wonder Wheel’s swinging cars will be lit with amber lights that will replicate the lighting scheme of the ride in the 1920s. The big difference is the lights will be powered by solar panels installed on top of the cars, according to an interview with Deno Vourderis in the Coney Island History Project’s Oral History Archive. Vourderis’s family owns the New York City landmark and also operates Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, which has 22 rides.

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