People of all ages are invited to Opening Day of the 2008 season at the historic Bushnell Park Carousel on Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Downtown Hartford’s Bushnell Park. At 11 a.m., the 94-year-old, three-row carousel will mark its first spin with a pull of the reins and a loud “Giddy Yup” yelled by the crowd. All day long on Opening Day, the celebration will feature a variety of entertainment and activities, including arts and crafts, juggling, miming, music, a magic show and the making of balloon animals.
All season-long, a ticket to ride the indoor carousel will be only $1 for adults and children alike. Children one year of age and under, will ride for free.
“The Bushnell Park Carousel was created in 1914 by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, owners of the Artistic Carousel Company of Brooklyn, New York,” says Louise DeMars, Executive Director of the Carousel. The carousel features 36 jumper horses (going up and down), 12 standers (stationary horses), two chariots, and a Wurlitzer 153 band organ.
It operated in Albany, New York until 1940 when it moved to Meyers Lake Amusement Park in Canton, Ohio, where it gave hundreds of thousands of rides to children of all ages. In 1974, Hartford’s Knox Foundation brought the carousel to Bushnell Park as part of the revitalization of the Downtown area.
The Bushnell Park Carousel is also available for birthday parties, receptions, photo opportunities, tours, ride and craft parties, and Spin & Learn programs.
The Bushnell Park Carousel’s 2008 hours are: Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays. It is inside an enclosed pavilion, and closes only during severe weather. For more information about the Bushnell Park Carousel or the New England Carousel Museum, call (860) 585-5411 or visit www.thecarouselmuseum.org.