Happy 39th birthday Pier 39! Dianne Feinstein appears at grand opening in swimsuit

- San Francisco's Pier 39 is celebrating its 39th anniversary on Wednesday with a ceremony that highlights the city's tourist attraction, which opened on Oct. 4, 1978, featuring shops, restaurants and attractions -- namely the California sea lions that sun bathe on the docks beside the pier.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, then the city's Board of Supervisors president and later its mayor and now one of California's two U.S. senators, attended the original Pier 39 ribbon-cutting in a swimsuit as part of a bet with developers on whether it would open on time.

Mayor Ed Lee, state Assemblyman David Chiu and Port of San Francisco executive director Elaine Forbes will speak.

This month will wrap up 39 weeks of celebrations of Pier 39's 39th anniversary in 2017.

Along with various Fleet Week events this week, including a chance to meet the Blue Angels pilots on Saturday evening, a "39th Birthday Bash" is
scheduled for Oct. 14 with live music and a 9 p.m. fireworks show over the Bay.

More information about events at the pier can be found at www.pier39.com.

 

HISTORY OF PIER 39:

 

August 1977 – PIER 39 breaks ground. Authentic 1910 wood from Piers 34 and 3 are used to erect the new structure.

October 1978 – PIER 39 opens on schedule to fanfare in San Francisco. Originally, PIER 39 had 50 stores, 23 restaurants, a diving pool and street performers.

May 1979 – Blue & Gold Fleet launches its first Bay Cruise.

August 1981 – Moor + South acquires property, forming the PIER 39 Limited Partnership.

May 1983 – Diving pool at Bay End of The PIER replaced with Venetian Carousel from inside Palace of Fun Arts.

January 1989 – PIER 39 is named the third most-visited attraction in the country by USA Today.

January 1990 – California sea lions begin arriving in droves on PIER 39’s K Dock, creating a local and international sensation. To date, the population has grown as high as 1,701.

April 1996 – Underwater World (now Aquarium of the Bay) opens to the public.

October 1996 – Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market opens at PIER 39.

February 1997 – Adventure Cat joins the PIER 39 Marina.

June 1997 – Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours begins operating out of Pier 41.

January 1998 – Crab House opens at PIER 39.

July 1998 – PIER 39 is named “Best Place to People Watch (San Francisco)” and “Best Video Games Arcade” as voted by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice competition.

July 1999 – PIER 39 is named “Best Place to People Watch (San Francisco)” as voted by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice competition.

May 2002 – Riptide Arcade family entertainment center (now Players Sports Grill & Arcade) opens with more than 100 video games, virtual reality units, novelty and prize redemption games.

August 2002 – Hard Rock Cafe opens.

March 2003 – Frequent Flyers – a fun-filled bungee trampoline – opens on Level 1.

October 2003 – PIER 39 celebrates its 25th anniversary on San Francisco’s historic waterfront.

July 2004 – Wipeout Bar & Grill opens at the front of PIER 39.

May 2007 – Fog Harbor Fish House opens.

April 2008 – Wines of California Wine Bar opens on Level 1.

December 2008 – Arrival of the new, two-story San Francisco Carousel. The Carousel was hand-crafted in Italy and featured paintings of famous San Francisco landmarks.

May 2009 – Blue & Gold Fleet officially debuts RocketBoat, the high-speed thrill ride on San Francisco Bay. RocketBoat is open seasonally (May through October).

July 2009 – Riptide Arcade is remodeled into an arcade and restaurant, and renamed Players Sports Grill & Arcade.

October 2009 – Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze opens.

November 2009 – A record 1,701 Sea Lions haul out on PIER 39’s K-Dock. Six new floats are added to accommodate the sudden influx of these marine mammals. San Francisco Whale Tours also joins the PIER 39 Marina.

December 2009 – Luigi’s Pizzeria opens on Level 2 of PIER 39.

January 2010 – Aquarium of the Bay obtains non-profit status after it is acquired by The Bay Institute.

September 2010 – Hana Zen Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar opens.

May 2011 – PIER 39 is ranked most-visited attraction in San Francisco by San Francisco Travel Association’s 2010 Visitor Profile Study.

October 2011 – Beer 39, featuring beer tasting and beer-related gifts, opens on Level 2 of PIER 39. AC Sailing SF joins the PIER 39 Marina and offers the America’s Cup sailing experience on San Francisco Bay.

October 2012 – Mango’s Taqueria & Cantina and 7D Experience – a simulated roller coaster and laser blaster attraction – opens their doors at PIER 39.

June 2013 – Musical Stairs by Remo Saraceni, creator of the famous piano from the Tom Hanks movie Big, are installed at PIER 39.

August 2013 – Wine Tasting on the Bay, the Bay’s first and only floating winetasting room, joins the PIER 39 Marina.

September 2013 – Bay Voyager – a 28-foot custom rigid-hulled inflatable boat – begins operating sightseeing tours out of PIER 39’s Marina.

October 2013 – PIER 39 celebrates its 35th Anniversary on San Francisco’s historic waterfront.

January 2014 – The Sea Lion Center, owned and operated by Aquarium of the Bay, opens at PIER 39. The Sea Lion Center is a free interpretative learning center focusing on the California sea lion.

March 2014 – 7D Experience invites guests to race their opponents through a web of laser beams at the new Laser Maze Challenge attraction.

July 2014 – PIER 39 unveils Open Heart—part of San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s 2014 “Hearts in San Francisco” collection—at the Bay End of The PIER.

January 2015 – PIER 39 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the sea lions’ arrival to PIER 39.

April 2015 – PIER 39 once again ranked most-visited attraction in San Francisco by San Francisco Travel Association’s 2014 Visitor Profile Study.

January 2017 – PIER 39 launches a 39-week long celebration in honor of 39th anniversary.

October 2017 – PIER 39 celebrates 39th anniversary on the San Francisco Waterfront.

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