Carl Borst rides the otter on the Adirondack Carousel next to Pam Chapell on the porcupine. Borst carved the beaver, raccoon, bald eagle and a lot of the bear. Chapell, with her sister and mother (master carver Eileen Fanning), known as the Fanning Garage Grinders, carved the porcupine and the large mouth bass.
The Adirondack Carousel will be partying all night and all through the day Aug. 23 - 24. There will be a theme party for every hour with radio host Paul Varga of WSLP 93.3 radio.
The first annual Carousel-A-Thon fundraiser will be a joint effort between WSLP 93.3 radio station and the Adirondack Carousel. Beginning at noon on Aug. 23, Varga will broadcast live while riding the carousel for 24 hours straight.
The event will include 24 hours of live auctions, a barbecue, midnight movies that will include “Grease,” jump houses and kid’s activities in the park, clowns, a “Ride-A-Thon” challenge and much more.
Paula Hameline, executive director for the carousel, said the Ride-A-Thon involves inviting people from the community to get sponsors to donate money for each loop they ride on the carousel.
“We want to invite local business owners, politicians and people from the community to come out and support the carousel,” Hameline said. “Everyone who participates in the Ride-A-Thon will be interviewed by Paul as they take their ride.”
Hameline said the carousel does 10 revolutions per ride. Donors, she said, will sponsor a revolution. Participants of the Ride-A-Thon will ride for free. Ride-A-Thon riders can pick up a sponsor sheet, get friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them as they ride the carousel as many times as they can, while being interviewed by Varga.
“The carousel isn’t designed to go non-stop all night, so Paul will ride every time someone wants to go on with him, even if there is just one person, he assures me he doesn’t get motion sickness so we think he’ll be able to go all the way through the night,” Hameline said. “We have activities planned all through the night to help him as he tries to stay awake and we hope he has fellow riders all night.”
Varga said his favorite animal on the carousel is the Otter named “Olive” although he said he’s looking forward to riding all the animals at least once throughout the 24 hour period. Varga will set up his radio show on the back of the “See-Ya-Round” boat and be equipped with a wireless microphone to move around the carousel.
All funds raised will go to fund the fall and winter carousel events and programming schedule. Those events include Dr. Seuss Read-across America, Gingerbread house making day, Scarousel Halloween Party, Animal Education lecture series and many more.
Hameline said there are many ways people can get involved during the festivities and for everyone that does there are opportunities for air-time interviews to talk about business services.
People can donate an auction item for the live “on-air” auction. The carousel currently has auction items including: a$50 gift certificate from Sharper Image Hair Salon, a two-night stay at White Pine Camp, a two-night stay at Fogarty’s B&B, a $25 gift certificate from Lake Flour Bakery, one full set of the ADK Kid’s Book Adventure Series and two day passes to Whiteface Mountain from ORDA.
People can also buy a book of tickets to share with friends or to thank customers. The cost is $50 for a book of 25 tickets.
People can also be a vendor in the park or inside the carousel. Vendors can rent a booth for $25 per booth.
The 24-hour ride will be packed full of activities beginning at noon with Varga beginning his ride and live broadcast. Other activities like the carousel jump houses, bubble station, vendors, barbecue and live auctions will also begin at noon.
Happy Hour will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. which will include a buy one, get one free boarding pass to the carousel for anyone wearing business attire.
From 8 to 9 p.m. the atmosphere will go back in time during a 70’s Era Hour. Anyone who comes in 70’s attire, gets buy one, get one free boarding passes while listening to music of the 70’s as they ride the carousel.
From 11 p.m. to midnight visitors can enjoy “Glow Hour” with all lights out except glow sticks. During this hour guests wearing 50’s themed costume attire get buy one, get one free boarding passes as well as the opportunity to ride to the soundtrack of the movie “Grease.”
Going into Saturday, Aug. 24, the movie “Grease” will be shown inside the carousel. Once guests are in they will not be allowed readmission if they leave, Hameline said.
More movies will follow until 4 a.m. Hameline said the movies will be picked later.
At 4 a.m., the carousel will open as an Internet Cafe, with WiFi and coffee, tea, muffins, doughnuts and more available with donations suggested.
At 7 a.m. the pajama party will begin with a waffle breakfast until 9 a.m. Guests can show up in their favorite pajamas and watch cartoons. Guests wearing pajamas will enjoy buy one, get one free rides.
The crowning hour will be from 9 to 10 a.m. as the Carousel Count and Countess contest begins, with people in royalty costumes getting buy one, get one free rides. The winning royalty will be crowned at 10 a.m.
The grand finale for the festivities will be the Family Hour from 10 a.m. to noon where family passes will be marked down from $150 to $125. Birthday party reservations will also be discounted with $25 off any size party, puppet show, face painting and more.
Hameline said the event is a great opportunity for community groups to come and rally support for individual organizations.
“Since there won’t be a Saranac Lake Block Party this year we are hoping people can come here instead,” Hameline said.
There will also be live streaming video of inside the carousel during the festivities so people can see how busy the carousel is or see if Varga is still awake.
For more information about the event go to the carousel’s website at www.adirondackcarousel.org or call them at 891-9521.
Carl Borst rides the otter on the Adirondack Carousel in Saranac Lake next to Pam Chapell on the porcupine during the inaugural run Saturday, May 26, 2012. Borst carved the beaver, raccoon, bald eagle and a lot of the bear. Chapell, with her sister and mother (master carver Eileen Fanning), known as the Fanning Garage Grinders, carved the porcupine and the large mouth bass.
Photo by Andy Flynn