Guest article by Jenny Bouman
Carousels bring out the kids in all of us, and on Tuesday August 15th, 2017, starting at 10:00 a.m., children of all ages will enjoy a fun-filled Grand Opening of the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. The press and public are invited to celebrate the completion of the long awaited, 22,000 square foot, state of the art facility which is located at the corner of 1st Avenue SW and Washington Street SW.
The Carousel Board will be hosting the celebratory ribbon cutting event as a means of acknowledging and thanking the community for their tireless support towards the completion of this spectacular project – and to officially “open” the Carousel facility as a much anticipated local amenity, tourist attraction and event venue for residents and visitors to Albany.
“This is not just about the carousel,” said Carl Baker, lead engineer of the mechanism. “It’s about the community – so many people working together – that’s what this carousel is all about!”
The building will open immediately following the ribbon cutting and stay open until 7:00 p.m. Guests will be treated to a free ride (a boarding pass will be given out to each guest the day of the event, and is needed in order to get on the carousel this one day only). Free snacks, outdoor entertainment and kid activities will be available from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Overseen by a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to building a traditional carousel in Albany’s downtown historic district, this project is the centerpiece of the downtown revitalization effort. The grassroots project has been serving as an anchor for the Historic Downtown Commercial District and has gained attention and support each year with over 200,000 volunteer hours documented. Sponsors, donors and grantors continue to show their support through financial contributions, bringing this community project to fruition. Over 2,000 visitors on average visit the carousel project every month.
The carousel project began in 2002. Carving officially began on June 7, 2003. It has taken over 14 years to complete, all work has been done by hand by volunteers of all skill levels. The tradition will continue with additional animals to complete and repairs that will certainly be needed. No experience is necessary to volunteer and volunteers over the age of 14 are welcomed to fill out an application. Volunteers are still needed for all phases of the project, including carvers, office helpers, gift shop sales, concession sales, carousel operators, painters, sanders, fundraising and organizers.
For additional information on how to become a volunteer for the Albany Carousel please contact the Volunteer Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum visit our website at www.albanycarousel.com.
The Carousel Building will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (at times, closing early to accommodate special events).
According to Wendy Kirbey, whose dream sparked this project, “This is a place you can come to, where you don’t need a lot of money. You can bring your family and see something really spectacular and just spend an afternoon having fun. You don’t see a carousel like this everyday!”