Coney Island events summer 2011

Look forward to a season of burlesque, sideshow acts, parades, live music, film screenings, beards and more.

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  • First Sideshow by the Seashore, begins Apr 23

    First Sideshow by the Seashore, begins Apr 23

  • First Sideshow by the Seashore, begins Apr 23

  • Photograph: Norman Blake

    Coney Island USA Spring Gala, Apr 28

First Sideshow by the Seashore, begins Apr 23

First Sideshow by the Seashore, begins Apr 23

April

Opening Day for Luna Park and the Cyclone
A New Year's Eve--style countdown, complete with confetti and cannon blasts, will mark the official opening of Coney Island's famed amusement parks. West 10th Street will be shut down in the morning to make room for performances from magician King Henry and the newly formed Luna Park Dancers. Next weekend, the brand-new Scream Zone opens, a thrill park for adults and teenagers featuring two steel roller coasters, a human slingshot and the Zenobio, a ride designed to spin you in circles 100 feet in the air. Luna Park, 1000 Surf Ave at 10th St (718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com). Apr 16 at noon; free.

Blessing of the Rides
Thrill-seekers flock to rides that get their adrenaline pumping, but who doesn't want some sense of security? At this 33rd annual ribbon-cutting ceremony, Pastor Debbie Santiago of the Salt & Sea Mission invokes divine intervention to declare the attractions at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park safe and open for business. The first 100 people in line get half-price rides on the park's namesake Ferris wheel. Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, 1025 Boardwalk at 12th St (718-372-2592, wonderwheel.com). Apr 17 at 11am; free.

First Sideshow by the Seashore
Those with a delicate constitution should probably pass on seeing these longtime circus performers as they bring this notable Coney Island attraction back for its 26th year. Watch Insectavora Angelica as she eats, breathes and twirls fire; Serpentina's snake-charming act; and Scott Baker's stomach-churning dinner of glass, razor blades and live crickets. Don't say we didn't warn you. Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave at 12th St (718-372-5159, coneyisland.com). Apr 23--May 23, Sat--Sun 1--8pm. May 27--Jun 12 Fri 2--8pm; Sat, Sun 1--8pm. June 13--Sept 11 Mon--Fri 2--8pm; Sat, Sun 1--8pm. Sept 17, 18 1--8pm. $7.50, children under 12 $5. Mermaid Parade, July 4th and Siren Festival $10.

Coney Island USA Spring Gala
This seventh annual benefit for Coney Island USA brings together the best acts the nonprofit group has to offer. Expect classic sideshow performances from "Human Blockhead" Donny Vomit and sword-swallower Heather Holliday; meanwhile, burlesque beauty Legs Malone and Miss Coney Island 2011 Lefty Lucy will perform a tantalizing act to go along with the night's theme, Electric Eden. DJ Guy will spin an eclectic selection of music ranging from '40s big band to classic '80s tunes while partygoers try to soak Dick D. Zigun—the organization's founder—in a carnival dunk tank. A silent auction allows you to bid on classic Coney Island kitsch as well as photographs and art by local artists. Amnesia NYC, 609 W 29th St between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves (718-372-5159, coneyisland.com). Apr 28 7--11pm. $150, advance $125; VIP $300, advance $275.

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