Coney Island opens this weekend with FREE rides on the Wonder Wheel and Cyclone!

acidpolly / flickr

We’re going to be in line. Are you? via acidpolly / Flickr

Ever since the first hint of winter chill breezed past us late last fall, we’ve been gearing up for Summer 2016. You know this already because you’ve seen us trying to convince you that it’s summer even when it’s not. And if there’s one thing we can say for certain, it’s that a real Brooklyn summer always starts on Coney Island. Perhaps you too have been waiting all year for the day when you could once again survey your Brooklyn kingdom from atop a swinging car on Deno’s Wonder Wheel.

Well saints be praised, that day has finally come.

It’s time for the 31st Annual Blessing of the Rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, which also marks the official opening of Coney Island’s amusement parks and attractions for the whole summer season. From this Sunday (March 20) [UPDATE: Opening day was postponed due to the weather; now it’s on Saturday, March 26] on, you can ride the Cyclone, frolic along the boardwalk and rot your teeth on candy apples, soaking in the promise of another Indian summer that this joyous occasion brings. Too much? Nah, we don’t think so. The Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone are giving out free rides to the first customers too!

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In just a couple months, this is you every goddamn day you can spare. via Luna Park

In just a couple months, this is you on every goddamn day you can spare. Luna Park / Flickr

Rides open at 11:30am following this Sunday’s Saturday’s blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by park owners Dennis & Steve Vourderis. Deno’s Wonder Wheel is free to ride for the first 96 attendees only, so make sure to show up for the 11am ceremony in order to secure your spot in line!

The park is also offering free ride passes for 300 kids courtesy of the local Salt N’ Sea Mission, honoring the late Pastor Debbie Santiago.

Luna Park also opens on March 26 at 10 a.m.; get there early because the first 100 people in line get to ride the Cyclone for free. You can also get a free egg cream and take your picture with beloved baseball monster Mr. Met.

If you missed the Coney Island exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, then this is the only way you’re ever going to learn about the magic of the People’s Playground — by seeing it for yourself! So come out for the education, the cheap thrills, and the ocean breeze. Not to mention the unofficial first day of what might just be the best summer of your life in ol’ Brooklyn, New York.

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