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Luna Park is opening this weekend

Cyclone to celebrate 95 years

March 29, 2022 Jaime DeJesus,
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Coney Island fun is back again for 2022.

Luna Park is hosting its annual opening-day ceremonies on Saturday.

The festivities include traditions such as the egg-cream christening of the Cyclone rollercoaster and the reopening of the park’s attractions. The park celebrates the Cyclone’s 95th anniversary this year.

The first 95 people in attendance will get to ride the famed coaster for free and will also receive an egg cream.

Coney Island amusement parks were closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But last year, they reopened, and in their opening day they honored essential workers.

This year will have a more traditional opening day, as children from three local organizations — Children of Promise, the Coney Island Sharks and Operation H.O.O.D. — will be the park’s special guests.

The Cyclone rollercoaster is set to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Eagle Urban Media/File Photo

Luna Park will also donate proceeds from opening day to these organizations.

Alessandro Zamperla, president and CEO of Central Amusement International Inc., the parent company of Luna Park, is excited to open its doors once again,

“It is incredibly exciting to finally have Luna Park in Coney Island filled with guests and joy after a very long winter,” he said. “We are extremely grateful for our partnerships with local organizations, as we support them with the annual charitable tradition for opening day and look forward to continuing working together to benefit our community.”

“We encourage New Yorkers to visit and celebrate the 95th season of the Cyclone Roller Coaster by riding with us to experience the joy and thrill of this iconic New York City landmark.” added Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island.

Children of Promise, NYC, is dedicated to developing programs to build brighter futures for children whose parents are imprisoned. The Coney Island Sharks are a youth football team that focuses on the sport as well as mentoring youth in the local community. Operation H.O.O.D. works with high-risk youth to develop conflict resolution skills and to give them the tools they need to enjoy safe, productive lives.

The Thunderbolt, named after an earlier rollercoaster in Coney Island. Photo courtesy of Luna Park

“This is a unique opportunity for us, as all of our children have lost a parent to incarceration, and visiting Coney Island would otherwise not be possible without the support of Luna Park,” Sharon Content, founder and president of Children of Promise, NYC, said.

Luna Park said it would also unveil newly added attractions in the park as part of its expansion project.

In October 2021, officials of the park announced during a groundbreaking ceremony that Luna will be receiving three major rides and more space, transforming three streets into landscaped pedestrian plazas between Wonder Wheel Way and the Coney Island Boardwalk.

“By way of the expansion, Luna Park brings more fun and innovation to Coney Island with new attractions and environmentally-friendly pedestrian plazas,” the park’s management said in a statement. “Additional details on the forthcoming attractions and pedestrian plazas will be announced later this season.”

Elected officials who represent Coney Island, such as Councilmember Ari Kagan and Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus, are expected to attend.

“We always should be mindful that the fate and the success of the America’s Playground and the Coney Island community are intertwined. And I am thankful to Luna Park for supporting important neighborhood community organizations, like Coney Island Sharks and Operation H.O.O.D., as well as for employing local residents,” said Kagan.

“After an incredibly long winter, children and families of all ages will finally be able to come down and enjoy the magic and wonder of Coney Island,” said Frontus.

The fun continues the following weekend in the amusement district as neighboring Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park hosts its opening day on Sunday, April 10.

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