Bushnell Carousel reopens

The magnificent Bushnell Park Carousel located in downtown Hartford.

The Bushnell Park Carousel, located in downtown Hartford, is now open after a year long-closure to build the new wing of the carousel pavilion. The carousel itself will be open now and the new addition is expected to open to the public within the next few weeks. Bring your family, friends and colleagues and come take a ride on your 101 year old antique, wooden, magnificent carousel.

The carousel will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is available to rent for private functions after 5 p.m. or before 11 a.m.. Book it for a business meeting, a romantic ride or to treat your favorite day care to an adventure.

The carousel is available for birthday parties, weddings, meetings, receptions and enjoy the carousel environment for your next party. The Bushnell Park Carousel is available for birthday parties held during public hours in the “Carouselabration Station” area. The carousel is available to rent before or after hours for receptions, weddings and special events. It is also available for photo opportunities,

“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,” explained Louise DeMars, executive director of the New England Carousel Museum of Bristol, which manages the carousel for the City of Hartford. In a press release, she said,“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,” said DeMars in the press release. “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 almost 100 years later and they are still splendid,” DeMars said in the press release. “Historic carousels like our Bushnell Park Carousel are an endangered species in the U.S.,” said DeMars in the press release. “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 $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.

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.

The magnificent Bushnell Park Carousel located in downtown Hartford. Photo by: Bees Knees Photography Company
The  Bushnell Park Carousel located in downtown Hartford.
Photo by: Bees Knees Photography Company