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Coney Island USA's Spring Gala Benefit at Webster Hall

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Saturday night, Webster Hall hosted a lively and colorful soiree' to keep the arts live at Coney Island with an over-the-top, wacky and sensational benefit!

Coney Island's rich history dates back to the early 1800's and has been the world's playground to beachgoers of all ages. In 1892, the great Elephant Hotel was constructed out of wood and tin with accommodations for only a few guests. In 1920, the racetracks closed and it became one of the leading destinations to vacationers from all over the world bringing more middle-class visitors instead of just the super-wealthy. Luna Park was also a popular amusement park that had been destroyed by a fire in 1944 and has since been rebuilt and reopened in 2010. Astroland was opened in 1962 and was a 3.1 acre thrill park along Surf Avenue and has since closed making way for new rides and entertainment with the new developments.

The Coney Island Gala honored, 'Men of the Year' Dennis and Steve Vouderis representing three generations of family owned and operated Deno's Wonder Wheel, a New York City Landmark has entertained more than 30 million riders since its construction in 1920. Both men's sons continue to carry out their father, Denos Vouderis' legacy today with the Wonder Wheel.

Lisa Mangels-Schafer, named 'Woman of the Year' is a writer, artist and activist for animal charities and breast cancer awareness. Lisa is passionate about preserving and the renewal of Coney Island for many generations to come.

The Mermaid Parade along Surf Avenue takes place at the start of summer, mark your calendars for June 21st. Expect to see lots of gorgeous girls, colorful boys, zany costumes and lots of adventure.

The Sideshow Attractions also known as Home of the Freaks, Wonders and Human Curiosities is open daily from 1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12.

Coney Island is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization founded in 1980.

To learn more about the sponsors at the Coney Island Gala, Mermaid Parade, Sideshows, Attractions and other events, please visit: http://www.coneyisland.com.

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