Carousels are Still Crowd Pleasers

The carousel at Columbus Commons, made by Mansfield’s Carousel Works features a princess horse, frog prince and even an OSU Buckeye horse and chariot... along with a host of other fantastically curious creatures.(Photo: Boyce Lancaster)
The carousel at Columbus Commons, made by Mansfield’s Carousel Works features a princess horse, frog prince and even an OSU Buckeye horse and chariot... along with a host of other fantastically curious creatures.(Photo: Boyce Lancaster)

It seems that, no matter how many new gadgets come out, new rides are created, and new ways are devised to separate us from our money, many simple pleasures are still quite popular.  I was reminded of one of those last weekend when I attended the Picnic with the Pops performance at Columbus Commons.

As concertgoers entered the grounds and began pulling out lawn chairs and blankets, movement in one corner of the grounds caught my attention…it was a carousel!

As you would expect, children had headed over, along with a few adults, to sit astride the carousel’s characters…hand-carved by Ohio artists at Mansfield’s Carousel Works, the world’s largest manufacturers of wooden carousels.  Each one is unique and designed to the purchaser’s specifications.  This prompted Classical 101 Program Director Beverley Ervine to schedule Carousel Waltz by Richard Rodgers this morning.  It also sent me on a search for information about carousels, who still makes them, and the unique sound of carousel music.

Many fiberglass carousels have been manufactured over the years, it had been over 60 years since anyone had built an all-wooden carousel when Carousel Works completed their first one in 1994.

The National Carousel Association is in it’s 40th year of efforts to “keep America’s remaining carousels in operation.”  They have also “participated in the restoration and preservation of many of the antique carousels in operation in our country today.”  With summer here, this seems like a good time to indulge in one of life’s simple pleasures — a spin on an old fashioned carousel.

For more about carousels and music played on them check out these to sites:

Watch Carousel Works co-founder Dan Jones talks about building and restoring carousel.

Watch and hear various steam powered mechanical organs

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