Coney gets brawny with strongman show

Coney gets brawny with strongman show
Photo by Norman Blake

Meet Coney Island’s real-life superheroes.

Muscle-bound strength stars with nicknames such as “Stanless Steel” and “Wonder” will bend quarters, lift fire hydrants and pull trucks with their teeth at the upcoming Coney Island Strongman Spectacular on 12th Street near Surf Avenue on May 20 — a free outdoor showcase that organizer Adam Rinn says is the first of its kind in the People’s Playground in 60 years.

“It takes a lot of mental and physical strength to do what these guys do,” said Rinn, a professional sword swallower and fire eater who runs a sideshow school at Coney Island USA. “A display like this hasn’t been seen in Coney Island in years.”

The show will feature seven modern-day Goliaths, including Chris Rider, who will pull a pickup truck with six passengers along Bowery Street using nothing but his hair, Sonny Barry, who breaks stacks of construction lumber with his bare fists, and Steve Wiener, who will pick up a fire hydrant, 100-pound stone and 13-pound sledgehammer — at the same time.

The old-school performance — which is being sponsored by the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus — will also include a ragtime concert by the Baby Soda Band and an appearance by Mike Greenstein, the son of legendary Coney strongman Mighty Atom.

“We’re bringing traditional Coney Island street spectacles back,” Rinn said.

Coney Island Strongman Spectacular [12th Street between Bowery Street and Surf Avenue, Coney Island (718) 372–5159]. May 20, 1 pm. Free. Visit www.coneyisland.com.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.