TAMPA — It took a little longer than expected but North America's largest traveling Ferris wheel finally started spinning Monday at the 2017 Florida State Fair.
Fair spokeswoman Laurie Hayes said the 155-foot tall Midway Sky Eye, equipped with more than 524,000 LED lights and 36 gondolas holding six riders each, was difficult to assemble.
"The construction became a spectacle in and of itself," Hayes said.
Shipped from the Netherlands and composed of more than 500 pieces, the wheel required an 80-ton crane to construct it. The heaviest part is the center axle, weighing 6,600 pounds. In all, the ride weighs more than 400,000 pounds. Riders can see more than 15 miles from the top.
The Ferris wheel was complete by Sunday night and opened for business in the fair's midway area at 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Rides on the Midway Sky Eye will cost $7. Or you can enjoy it as many times as you want with the purchase of a rides armband.
Today, for Valentine's Day, two-for-one rides will be offered.
The annual fair opened Thursday and ends its run Monday.