Power Outage Strands Riders on New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

The Centennial Wheel opened to the public at noon on Friday, May 27

The grand opening of the Centennial Wheel got off to a rocky start Friday night, when a power outage briefly halted the running of the new Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Navy Pier officials confirmed that a power outage had caused the wheel to stop. Electricians worked to fix the issue, a spokesperson said, with the priority of keeping people comfortable and getting them down. 

Just after 8:30 p.m., the wheel began moving again. A light show previously scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday went on as planned. 

The wheel holds more than 400 people, but there were "considerably less" than that on the ride when it stopped, officials said. 

"Passengers on the Centennial Wheel were held in place for approximately 20 minutes, were communicated with and have now safety exited the Wheel," a spokesperson for Navy Pier said in a statement just after 9 p.m. "There is a brief interruption of park services due to current weather conditions and there are no injuries reported."

The new attraction has temperature-controlled gondolas, padded seats, TV screens and speakers. At 196 feet tall, the Centennial Wheel reaches 49 feet higher and fits up to 180 more passengers per ride than the previous attraction.

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