Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largest traveling Ferris Wheel finally spinning, midway through Florida State Fair

On the busy first Saturday of the 2017 Florida State Fair, work crews were still hustling to finish assembling the 155-foot-tall Midway Sky Eye, which is North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel.

DENNIS JOYCE | Times Staff

On the busy first Saturday of the 2017 Florida State Fair, work crews were still hustling to finish assembling the 155-foot-tall Midway Sky Eye, which is North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel.

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.

Largest traveling Ferris Wheel finally spinning, midway through Florida State Fair 02/13/17 [Last modified: Monday, February 13, 2017 8:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  4. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  5. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.