After being closed for the past year because of mechanical malfunction, the Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte re-opened to the public Friday.
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo made the announcement last week.
The 113-year old carousel has been out of commission since July 26, 2017 due to the failure of an important original mechanical component of the ride.
“We are so very happy to have the carousel repaired and back up-and-running,” said Dinolfo. “To celebrate the re-opening of this community treasure, we will be open on weekends and offer FREE rides through Columbus Day. I hope that many of our hard working families and residents of all ages will come up to Ontario Beach Park and enjoy a ride on our historic carousel, at no charge.”
The County’s carousel was carved and created by the firm of G.A. Dentzel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was installed at Ontario Beach Park in 1905, and has remained in its original location ever since. The carousel is a menagerie model and consists of 52 riding animals and two chariots, set in three rows. The hand-carved animals include: 22 Jumping Horses; 11 Standing Horses; 3 Cats; 1 Deer; 1 Giraffe; 1 Goat; 1 Lion; 2 Mules; 3 Ostriches; 3 Pigs; 3 Rabbits; and 1 Tiger.
The newly opened carousel also features a new black panther panel—created by Artists Artists David Kirk and Mary Mullard—that replaces the racially offensive, demeaning “pickaninny” art that was displayed on it for more than 100 years.
The racist images were removed after much lobbying by community members and The Take it Down Planning Committee.
Following the carousel’s break-down, last summer, the County hired Carousels & Carvings of Marion, Ohio to remove, remanufacture and reinstall the Thrust Bearing, an integral mechanical component of the ride. The work was completed last week and the carousel passed a mandatory New York State inspection, last week.
The Carousel’s 2018 Operating Schedule is, as follows:
Labor Day Weekend – Open Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3
Post-Labor Day until September 30 – Open Weekends (Saturday & Sunday)
Columbus Day Weekend – Open Saturday, October 6 through Monday, October 8
The Carousel’s 2018 Hours of Operation are: Noon to 6:00 p.m.