Seattle's Great Wheel keeps romance alive every day

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on February 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 16 at 1:20 PM

If love is what makes the world go round, then Seattle's Great Wheel helps it stay spinning.  So as Valentine's weekend winds down, we're taking a look at how  the waterfront attraction is keeping romance alive, every day.

When the wheel opened up in the summer of 2012, the team behind it brought in a greeter who had experience with entertaining large crowds as they waited in line.

Juan Salido used to run the gondolas at Crystal Mountain.

He's a retired member of the U.S. Air Force, and his current job is to greet and to seat every person that climbs on board the wheel.

"The people here are awesome, that's what I like," he said.  "I love the people here."

As the wheel spins, Juan entertains the long lines by singing and dancing.  He loves music from the 1950s and 1960s, especially love songs.

His customers and co-workers love them as well.

"He gets it going with his dance moves and everything, and makes it more fun," said one customer.

When KING 5 visited Juan on Friday, it was not only Valentine's Day, it was Ferris Wheel Day.  February 14th is designated as Ferris Wheel Day because it marks the day when the ride's inventor, George Ferris, was born more than 150 years ago.

Had he never created this one-of-a-kind contraption, just think how many sky-high wedding proposals might never have happened.

Juan has lost count.  He saw several of them on Friday alone.

"She said yes at the top of the Great Wheel," said Ben Stewart, moments after popping the question.  "I was kinda leaning down to hug her and then she said I love you, and she sat back up and looked down and realized I was holding a ring out."

As for Juan, we had to ask whether he has a valentine of his own.  His response came in the form of a song.

"It's Friday night and I ain't got nobody," he sang, laughing.

He is surrounded by love every day at the wheel, and right now, that's enough for him.  He works there not because he needs the money, but because he truly enjoys it.

The Great Wheel is open every day, and tickets are $13 plus tax.  Hours of operation vary by season.

 

 

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