BY MADELINE NELSON
The Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village is opening for the season this weekend, ushering in nostalgic charm and new surprises for the spring and summer.
The historical landmark, resting in the middle of the Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village, is preparing for its 115th year of operation.
Though only having 45 years of residence at Forest Park, the current carousel was constructed in 1903 by world-renowned artist and carver Daniel Muller. It is one of the two carousels left that he and his brother Alfred hand carved.
Before the Muller carousel was purchased, another stood in its spot for approximately 50 years. According to a 1966 article in the Long Island Daily Press, a raging fire burned and destroyed the original carousel at Forest Park.
Over the years, the carousel has battled closures due to disrepair and a lack of a vendor. Nonetheless, since the Parks Department announced New York Carousel Entertainment would operate the carousel in 2012, not only has the Forest Park Carousel stayed in operation, but the Amusement Village as a whole has expanded.
In 2013, the Forest Park Carousel was named a New York City landmark.
Carousel operators are planning to expand the Amusement Village more as it transitions from a single-ride operation to a small family amusement park. Additionally, the Frog Hopper ride will be making its second appearance at the Amusement Village following its success last season.
“We are very excited to share our off-season work with all our guests,” said Daeshawn Grimes, operations manager of the Forest Park Carousel. “Last year, we introduced the Frog Hopper ride and have a grand surprise in store for returning and new visitors which will debut early summer.”
Food and beverages are available at the Carousel Cafe daily, and free weekend entertainment begins May 26. Tickets start at $3.50 per ride or game, and can be purchased individually or in bulk at discounted rates.
Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village will be posting special offers on their Instagram @fpcarousel and park events updates on their Facebook page.
The Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village opens this Saturday, March 24, and will be open daily beginning on Sunday, April 1.