Celebrating 100 Years Of The Hartford Carousel
There are parties, big bashes, celebrations, and then, there is the “carousel-abration”. That is what is happening on Saturday in Bushnell Park. The famed Bushnell Park Carousel is a is reaching a milestone, its 100 years old. “The party is set to go,” said Louise DeMars, the Executive Director of the Bushnell Park Carousel and New England Carousel Museum in Bristol. “She’s almost fully restored after ten years of fund-raising,” DeMars said.
The ride was created by craftsmen Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in 1914 and began its run in Albany, New York. In 1940 the carousel moved to an amusement park in Canton, Ohio. In 1974 it was brought to Hartford. Almost all of the 48 horses and two chariots have now been restored. To commemorate the anniversary, the carousel is free to ride all day Saturday.
“There are less than 200 antique wooden operating carousels left in the country down from thousands at the turn of the century,” DeMars noted. “If you look at those numbers you know carousels are an endangered species.” Rick Cline, visiting Hartford from Fairmont, N.C. said, “it’s a real good ride, I rode this 20 years ago, I came back this weekend to ride it again.” DeMars added, “it’s a treasure and we’re lucky to have it.”
810 light bulbs illuminate the landmark, the carousel is open to the public from 11 am to 9 pm on Saturday with a fireworks show to follow.