Santa Cruz Boardwalk's Giant Dipper roller coaster turns 100

SANTA CRUZ, CA - JULY 29: A general view of the Santa Cruz Wharf, with the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk amusement park behind on July 29, 2007 in Santa Cruz, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The iconic Giant Dipper roller coaster turns 100 years old on Friday and to celebrate this milestone, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is promoting a "century of thrills." 

On Saturday, there will be a public ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in front of the epic wooden coaster and a free fireworks show on the main beach at 9 p.m. 

The Boardwalk is California's oldest seaside amusement park, according to the Visit Santa Cruz County's website. 

In its 100 years, more than 66 million riders have squealed and clutched their seats since its construction, Visit Santa Cruz said. 

The Giant Dipper was inaugurated on May 17, 1924, and is the fourth-oldest coaster in the United States and one of the top 10 in the world. 

The coaster is made of 327,000-board-feet of lumber, 743,000 galvanized nails, 148,000 pounds of concrete.

It was built by Arthur Loof, who came from a family renowned for their contributions to amusement rides, in 47 days at a cost of $50,000, Visit Santa Cruz said. 

In 1987, the Giant Dipper earned recognition as a National Historic Landmarks. 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk still a popular summer destination August 3, 1995 (Photo By Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)