A citywide celebration of the 105th birthday of the historic Bushnell Park Carousel is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019. The event is planned to begin at 11 am and end at 5 pm with an emphasis on art, education, fun, and the beautiful restoration work done on the Carousel by the New England Carousel Museum restoration artists.
“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, Director of the Carousel. “It is one of only three Stein & Goldstein carousels left in operation in the U.S. that still provides rides for the public.” The carousel features 36 jumper horses (going up and down), 12 standers (stationary horses), two chariots, and a Wurlitzer 153 band organ. It operated outside of 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 Hartford as part of the revitalization of the downtown area.
Stein and Goldstein carved in the Coney Island Style of carving that is decorative and expressive. They made big animals with their ears pinned back, their eyes wide and some even have their tongues hanging out showing you how hard they are working to give you a good ride. Magnificent carving and extraordinary workmanship went into the creation of these animals. Here they are over 100 years later and they are still splendid. “Historic carousels like our Bushnell Park Carousel are an endangered species in the U.S.,” notes Ms. DeMars. “We want to encourage people to come enjoy this treasure and learn about its unique history and art. If people begin caring and supporting Hartford’s carousel today, then it can be still be around for their great-grandchildren to enjoy in the future.”
The Bushnell Park’s Carousel’s $2-per-ride goes to fund general operations. The City of Hartford and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving also contributes to the general operation of the Carousel and is proud to support this treasure for the community. Carousel lovers may join the Friends of the Bushnell Park Carousel, or the New England Carousel Museum, or a combined membership, which provides unlimited visits to both facilities. Taking a membership, taking a ride or buying a bag of popcorn all help to support the Carousel. The Carousel is located at One Jewell Street, Hartford, CT.
The ever-popular Carousel Museum Art & Craft tent run by the Museum educators, will bring hands-on activities for the children as part of the celebration. The CT Woodcarvers Association will be carving throughout the day showing the Art of the Carving and plan to have costumed characters entertaining throughout the day including Spiderman, and Hello Kitty.
The summer Carousel hours are: Wednesday though Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Carousel is located inside an enclosed pavilion, and closes only during severe weather. The Carousel is available to rent for weddings, receptions, parties, meetings, for wonderful birthday parties, and our Spin & Learn Program.
For more information about the Bushnell Park Carousel or to donate to help the Carousel’s restoration process including the Adopt-A-Horse campaign, call 860-585-5411 or visit www.bushnellparkcarousel.org