Adirondack Carousel Board co-organizers Marge and Ted Glowa show off the newly arrived carousel mechanics, which were delivered Monday, April 23 at the pavilion in William Morris Park, Saranac Lake. The carousel will open to the public on Saturday, May 26.
More than a decade after the project began, the Adirondack Carousel is finally set to open on Memorial Day weekend.
Volunteers have been busy over the past two weeks preparing the 3,500-square-foot pavilion at William Morris Park for the arrival of the carousel’s mechanics. The metal structure, custom built in Texas, was delivered and installed Monday, April 23. About 20 volunteers showed up, and many helped assemble most of the mechanics.
“As you can see, this all came in pieces, and today you can tell for sure it’s going to be a carousel,” said Ted Glowa, president of the Adirondack Carousel Board of Directors.
Everything didn’t go as smoothly as expected, though, as the volunteers had to take some of the windows and doors out of the building in order to get the mechanics inside. A rental company in Lake Placid donated the services of a heavy-duty forklift.
There are still a number of details to be completed before the carousel opens. The carousel mechanics need to be finished, along with trim work around the building and installation of the carousel floor, which was delivered Tuesday, April 24. Then more lights have to be put in, and the animals need to be placed on the carousel.
Board members are asking people to save the date on their calendars – Saturday, May 26 – the grand opening of the Adirondack Carousel. The party will be held from 1 to 4 p.m.
“While that date will be a challenge, we’re doing our very best to make that date to be ready and 100 percent done and ready to open,” Glowa said. “Other than that, we’re in decent shape.”
The project’s founder, Karen Loffler of Saranac Lake, is expected to attend the opening day festivities along with board members, volunteers and many of the men and women who carved the carousel’s characters. Loffler began the carousel in 2001.
The Adirondack Carousel will feature animals that can be found in the Adirondack Park. There are 24 of them, but only 18 will be on the carousel at any given time. Plus there will be a handicap-accessible “chariot” — a replica of a Chris-Craft speed boat — on the carousel.
In the fall of 2011, elementary school students from the Saranac Lake Central School District named most of the animals: Flipper (Bass), Paws (Bear), Chuck (Beaver), Bug-Eye (Blackfly), Bubbles (Great Blue Heron), Moonlight (Bobcat), John (Deer), Thunder (Draft Horse), Soarin (Eagle), Flames (Fox), Lilly (Frog), Harry (Hare), Lucy (Loon), Beethoven (Moose), Oliver (Otter), Spike (Porcupine), Ranger (Raccoon), Red Storm (Red Squirrel), Wiggly (Salamander), Spencer (Skunk), Twitter (Thrush), Buck (Toad), and Shelly (Turtle). There will also be a trout.
The Adirondack Carousel pavilion is a year-round building and will include space for programs and special events. A playground next to the carousel will also be built.
Learn more about the Adirondack Carousel online at adirondackcarousel.org.