Center of CT

Hartford's Bushnell Park Carousel Opens on Saturday, April 27 for the 2013 Season

CONTACT: Louise DeMars (860) 585-5411

HARTFORD, CONN., April 19, 2013 – The Bushnell Park Carousel in Downtown Hartford will open for the 2013 season on Saturday, April 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The celebration will feature wonderful activities for children including a face-painter, a balloon twister, miniature train rides around Bushnell Park, a bounce house and costumed characters to entertain visitors.  Rides on the 99-year-old carousel are $1.

“The Bushnell Park Carousel is a treasure in Downtown Hartford and one of less than 200 antique wooden carousels that remain in operation in the U.S. – down from thousands at the turn-of-the-century,” explains Louise DeMars, Executive Director of the New England Carousel Museum of Bristol, which manages the carousel for the City of Hartford. “This year, we continue our ‘Countdown to 100’, in anticipation of the carousel’s 100th anniversary in 2014.”

The Bushnell Park Carousel was created in 1914 by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, owners of the Artistic Carousel Company of Brooklyn, New York.  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 newly refurbished 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.”

The Bushnell Park Carousel is available for birthday parties held during public hours in the "Carouselabration Station" areas. The Carousel is available to rent for receptions, weddings and special events. It is also available for photo opportunities. Carousel lovers may join the Friends of the Bushnell Park Carousel, 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 Bushnell Park’s Carousel’s $1-per-ride goes to fund general operations and ongoing refurbishing of the horses and the pavilion itself. The City of Hartford also contributes to the general operation of the Carousel. Hours of operation are: Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is inside an enclosed pavilion, and closes only during severe weather. The Carousel is also open during selected special events in Bushnell Park through December. For more information about the Bushnell Park Carousel or the New England Carousel Museum, or to donate to help the Carousel’s restoration process, including the Adopt-A-Horse campaign, call (860) 585-5411 or visit www.thecarouselmuseum.org.

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