JACKSON — Attention all thrill-seekers!

Six Flags Great Adventure and American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE), the world’s largest club of amusement ride enthusiasts, are teaming up to join theme parks across North America to celebrate the opening of the first modern roller coaster.

On Thursday, June 16 at 2 p.m., the world's largest roller coaster ride takes place when local ACE members will ride El Toro at Six Flags in Jackson simultaneously with fellow members across the country.

The ride will celebrate the engineering, architecture, history, entertainment, and marvels of roller coasters that began June 16, 1884, with the opening of La Marcus Thompson’s Switchback Railway at Coney Island.

El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure (Photo Credit: Kristin Fitzgerald)
El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure (Photo Credit: Kristin Fitzgerald)

The Switchback Railway is a gravity-powered out-and-back ride that took its inspiration from a mining railway. It is known as America’s first roller coaster. It once stood where their current-day Coney Island Cyclone still operates. The Cyclone celebrates its 95th anniversary later this month.

“Roller coasters allow our minds to escape the stresses of life even if for just a few moments,” said Elizabeth Ringas, ACE’s communications director.

More about World Roller Coaster Appreciation Month can be found here.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article should have said that the first roller coaster opened in 1884.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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