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Pacific Park Introduces Wind-Powered Game  

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By Lookout Staff

October 17, 2011 -- Amusement parks and sustainability might seem like an unlikely combination, unless you're talking about Santa Monica.

Pacific Park on the Pier is leading the way yet again with the first wind-powered “High Striker” – the test-of-strength game familiar to anyone who ever watched Popeye hit a puck up a column with a mallet to ring a bell and win Olive Oyl's affection.

This 21st Century variant signals victory with a ringer powered by a wind turbine whenever a player is strong enough to send a weight 25 feet up to strike the game's silver-plated bell. Not only that, the 100 lights outlining the post are powered by the same system that produces the sound.

“The adaptation of the High Striker to wind power is another step forward in meeting our goal to lead the industry and the City of Santa Monica in green initiatives,” says Jeff Klocke, director of marketing and sales at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

“We have long showcased the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel as an innovative environmental effort. The High Striker is a further testament to the Park’s commitment to sustainability.”

The 600-watt wind turbine rises 45 feet in the air, from atop a building next to the game. Three fiberglass blades cut in at about 4.5 miles per hour – the minimum average wind velocity on the Santa Monica Pier.

Xantrex Technology Inc. manufactures the PowerHub, which stores the power, and Sunforce Products Inc. manufactures the wind turbine.

Pacific Park is also home to the world's first solar-powered ferris wheel, and has won a Sustainable Quality Award from the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce for its green initiatives, including replacing the lights for more efficent energy use, providing employees with reusable water bottles and upgrading cleaning supplies to environmentally friendly products.

Los Angeles' only free amusement park, Pacific Park offers 12 amusement rides, 18 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza. For additional information, including hours of operation, call 310-260-8744 or visit

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