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Aug. 8, 2022 | Navy Pier will award more than 10,000 free Centennial Wheel tickets to Chicagoland schools and nonprofits in the 2022 grant cycle

Navy Pier Kicks Off 2022 Community Rides Program

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CHICAGO— Navy Pier is proud to announce the relaunch of Community Rides – a program that offers nonprofits the opportunity to apply for up to 100 free tickets to ride the Centennial Wheel.

“We are so proud to have already provided more than 40,000 free Centennial Wheel rides to local community-based organizations,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “The Wheel is such a symbolic part of the Chicago skyline; and we are committed to ensuring access to Chicagoland schools and nonprofits through our Community Rides program for years to come.”

The fall application cycle for the Community Rides program is now open online. The Community Rides program is an initiative designed to provide underserved communities with access to visit and experience the Pier. Nonprofit organizations and schools can submit their request for up to 100 Centennial Wheel tickets through the on-line application. The deadline to submit is Friday, Aug. 26.

Organizations in need of transportation assistance can also apply for a travel stipend via the online application. Recipient organizations will be notified in mid-September if they have been selected. The Community Ride passes will be valid through Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.

As the People’s Pier, Navy Pier strives to establish and nurture meaningful partnerships with schools, embrace other nonprofits, offer unique opportunities to all of guests and create new experiences to underserved communities.

Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel is an iconic part of the Chicago skyline and a treasured piece of Chicago cultural history. Soaring to heights of nearly 200 feet, the Wheel offers visitors unparalleled, 360-degree views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. No matter the season, the enclosed gondolas provide a comfortable experience and miraculous city views. For more information, visit

Note: All dates are subject to change. Centennial Wheel operations are weather permitting.

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more.

The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit


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