SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The iconic Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel will go dark Thursday and stay dark for 20 days to make way for a $1 million revamp in time for the Pacific Park amusement park’s 20th-anniversary celebration.

The Ferris wheel itself will continue to operate during the lighting overhaul, which is expected to be completed by May 26. Park operators said the 174,000 new LED lights will have “higher resolution, greater color depth and faster ‘frames per second’ display speed.”

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To honor the 20th anniversary of the park, which opened on May 26, 1996, one of the 20 Ferris wheel gondolas will be illuminated each evening, starting Friday, with all 20 gondolas lit up on May 25, the day before the unveiling of the new lighting system.

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“Pacific Park is the only West Coast amusement park on a pier and we are recognizing a variety of other park milestones throughout May to celebrate our 20 years in the community,” said the park’s vice president, Jeff Klocke.

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