THUNDER BAY – The Save Our Carousel committee announced today that starting on Saturday, June 18 the partially restored carousel will be back in operation after two years of a COVID shutdown.
“The good news is Thunder Bay’s much-loved Carousel will be back in operation this summer” announced Save Our Carousel Co-Chair, Donna Gilhooly. “Although restoration work is still on-going, we are in the home stretch. Rather than postponing its use another year until everything is completed, TFOCP and Parks have decided to get it up and running.”
“The community will be able to see the incredible effort made by local artisans and artists in the restoration of all the horses. Most importantly, children will not have to wait another year to ride their favorite horse!” she said.
The CW Parker will look like a skeleton of its former self, but the restored horses are a beautiful thing to see and in themselves worth a trip to Chippewa Park.
“We wanted to make sure that the children of our community did not miss one more season of riding their favourite horse” said committee co-chair, Donna Gilhooly”.
Everything has been affected by Covid. For example, Superior Highschool was unable to finish the paintings of iconic images for the rounding boards but what has been done is strikingly beautiful.
Because all the elements fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, it was decided not to erect features only partially completed. However, the public can rest assured that the carousel is nearly finished and all we need is the extra time to complete the restoration and have the necessary government approvals in place.
Visitors will note that this year the multi-coloured fabric roof will not be installed as in the short run it will compromise the overall effort of the restoration. It is expected there will be a new mounting system for a new canopy installed beginning in the fall. The existing canopy doesn’t provide significant protection from the elements and has been a concern since the restoration process began. Each horse and the band organ will be protected individually when not in use throughout this summer.
According to Gilhooly, while two new chariots have been carved and constructed by the Thunder Bay Carvers, there was insufficient time to mount their amazing carvings in time for the season opening. That work will recommence in the fall.
“We hope children enjoy riding the horses this summer and that families and heritage enthusiasts alike will come out and see the restoration work. Completing the restoration to the highest of standards is important to us. We know it will be worth the wait to see it completed in all its glory” concluded Gilhooly.
The carousel along with the other rides will operate on weekends until July 1, when they will run from Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 8 pm.