Six Flags Great America's Tiny the Spider dead at 21

Tiny the Spider, the massive inflatable that adorned Great America's American Eagle roller coaster each fall for more than two decades, has died, according to a statement from the Gurnee-based theme park.

"Tiny the Spider, 21, was found deflated and unresponsive at Six Flags Great America on Monday, September 17, 2012," a press release said. "She perished beside the American Eagle roller coaster after attempting her 22nd annual march to her post alongside the tollway."

The iconic giant spider, about 40 feet in diameter, marked the start of Great America's Halloween celebration each fall. Tiny's "babies," three smaller inflatable spiders (each about 20 feet in diameter), will hang on the Eagle alone this season.

Tiny's grief-stricken fans will be relieved to hear that she'll be laid to rest on Six Flags grounds. Indeed, an open-to-the-public visitation and memorial will take place at the park Saturday, September 29—the opening day of the park's monthlong Fright Fest. (Yes, they're taking this a touch too far.)

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)