By Blake Atwell
Daily Press Intern
Next weekend, the Santa Monica Pier flips “Upside Down.”
From Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, June 30, Netflix’s award-winning Stranger Things series will celebrate its upcoming July 4 season three release by throwing an immersive fair at Pacific Park.
The fair will include carnival games, a slime-filled dunk tank, ice cream and more opportunities for Stranger Things fans to fully immerse themselves in Hawkins, Indiana during the summer of 1985. A curiosity house featuring the show’s terrifying Demogorgon creatures will provide guests with quite the experience. At the Hawkins Bike Shop, attendees will have a shot to leave the pier on new wheels.
Onstage performances from Hawkins High School cheerleaders, 80s cover bands, food eating contests and magicians will be featured at the center of the fair. The pier’s Pacific Wheel Ferris Wheel will transform into the Hawkins Wheel for the weekend, and Playland Arcade is set to become Hawkin’s own Palace Arcade.
Jim Harris, deputy director of the Santa Monica Pier, said the pier was the perfect match for the show’s season three premiere because the promotional posters for the season all feature a beach boardwalk.
“We’re overjoyed that they selected us and gave us the opportunity to play host to this wonderful launch event,” Harris said.
After Stranger Things 3 mania hits Santa Monica, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York will receive a similar makeover.
From Thursday, July 4 to Sunday, July 7, Coney Island’s Ferris Wheel, Thunderbolt, Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars and Carousel attractions will also be Stranger-fied. The east coast Stranger Things takeover will be highlighted by the Hawkins Fourth of July Spectacular Firework Show on Saturday, July 6 at 9:30 p.m.
Since debuting in 2016, Stranger Things has garnered 31 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. According to Nielsen ratings, 15.8 million people watched the second season of Stranger Things series within its first three days on Netflix.