The Bushnell Park Carousel, located in downtown Hartford, is turning 100 years old this year. In celebration of this milestone the City of Hartford is giving the Carousel a wonderful gift by adding heat to the pavilion, new restrooms and a multi-function room to the operation, allowing the Carousel to be available year-round.
“Hartford is proud to be the home of one of three remaining wooden carousels created by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in the early 1900’s. We invite you to join us for our 100th celebration in July and again in November for our grand reopening,” said Mayor Segarra.
Construction is scheduled to begin on April 15 and the City will pause construction to open in time for the 100th Birthday celebration scheduled for Saturday, July 26, 2014
from 11 am to 9 pm. In addition, the New England Carousel Museum Restoration Department has been working around the clock to fully restore the Carousel in time for her birthday. Artists have been doing wood repair, painting and gold leafing to bring the Carousel pieces back to their original beauty.
"The Bushnell Park Carousel is a treasure in downtown Hartford. It is 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, as we achieve our ‘Countdown to 100’ Celebration, we anticipate a major public response to the Carousel’s 100th birthday in July.”
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 Ms. DeMars. “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, their nostrils flared, 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 100 years later and they are still splendid," Ms. DeMars said.
“Historic carousels like our Bushnell Park Carousel are an endangered species, notes Ms. DeMars. “We want to encourage people to come enjoy this treasure and learn about its unique history and art. Consider sending the Carousel a 100th Birthday gift to help keep her operating. 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.”
Once reopened, The Bushnell Park Carousel will be 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.
A Carousel Construction Watch will be added to our website allowing our friends and supporters to follow the progress and share their thoughts. 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. When reopened, the Bushnell Park Carousel hours will be: Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 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, or to donate to help the Carousel’s restoration process, including the Adopt-A-Horse campaign, call (860) 585-5411. www.thecarouselmuseum.org.
This traveling exhibit is currently at the New England Carousel Museum until May 15, 2014
Come on by and check it out!
"In celebration of Hartford Stage’s 50th Anniversary Season, the STAGECRAFT exhibit consists of a selection of costumes, props and scenic elements from the company’s extensive collection. A hallmark of the theatre’s work is the quality of the work that appears on stage, all of which is built here in Hartford. Scores of locally-based artists, craftspeople, and technicians created these pieces to animate the visions of some of the world’s most prominent theatrical designers." - Hartford Stage
Will be performing on Saturdays March 8th, April 5th, and May 31st from 7:00 – 11:00 PM. Admission is only $12 per person – singles welcome!
Bring your own beverage. Snacks and soda available for sale. Pre-paid tables of 8 people may be reserved, walk-ins are welcome if there is space.
*RESERVATIONS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED as this is a very popular event!!!
Doors open @ 6:15 PM.
The Chaparrals are a soft rock, country western band with a wide variety of danceable music. Bring a friend or come alone, either way you will enjoy a nice night out with good music and great people.
For more information or to make reservations, contact the New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol, CT at 860 585-5411.