Carrousel Park Turns 25

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Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield, Ohio has commissioned Todd Goings from Carousels & Carvings in Marion, Ohio to carve a 25th Anniversary Horse.

Todd is the gentleman who maintains the Carrousel to keep it in top working condition. About two years ago, Todd was called by cell phone because one of the carrousel operators heard an unusual noise. Todd said put the cell phone where the noise was coming from. After a few seconds, he said, “Shut her down; I’m on my way.” Two and a half days later, the carrousel reopened.

The Carrousel first opened August 31, 1991. Thousands of people lined the streets to ride. The 25th Anniversary Celebration will be on Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Celebrate and be one of the first to ride the 25th Anniversary Horse. It’s the first new animal since the Carrousel opened.

While you’re there, enjoying carrousel music and rides, be sure to stop in the gift shop. There’s also a concession stand featuring soda, popcorn, warm pecans & almonds, candy, fresh cotton candy, chips, slush drinks, tea, Starbucks and assorted vintage small candies.

The Richland Carrousel was the first new, hand-carved carrousel to be built and operated in the United States since the 1930’s. It is located in its own pavilion in the heart of downtown Mansfield.

The carrousel figures were carved in the style of G. A. Dentzel, one of the most revered carvers of the early 1900’s. All 52 figures were designed, carved and painted by Carousel Works of Mansfield. Carrousel Works also restored the antique rounding boards, mirrors and mural frames. There are 30 horses and 22 menagerie figures, including four bears, four ostriches, four cats, four rabbits, a goat, giraffe, lion, tiger, zebra and a mythical hippocampus (part horse, part fish). A Stinson Band Organ, made by the Stinson Pipe Organ Co. of Bellefontaine, Ohio, provides rousing music for carrousel riders. The inside animals on the carrousel go 3.71 miles per hour while the outside animals go 6.77 MPH.

The scenery panels atop the carrousel depict past and present attractions in Mansfield. Tridico Silk Screening in Mansfield painted the colorful, picturesque scenes. Represented on the 18 panels are: Malabar Farm; the old Richland County Courthouse; Johnny Appleseed; the Public Library; Kingwood Center; Oak Hill Cottage; famous author Louis Bromfield; Brigadier General Frank Purdy Lahm; Mid-Ohio Race Track; the old Roller Coaster from Mansfield’s Casino Park; Lyons Falls; Vasbinder Fountain; the Central Park Bandstand; the Blockhouse; Snow Trails & Clear Fork ski areas; and Uncle Sam. A replica of a 1907 Dentzel panel and a sign stating the original low price of 50 cents per ride complete the collection.

Guarding the entrance of the carrousel are two bronze horses. They arrived in early 2003. The horses were cast from antique horses and were given by an anonymous donor. Eight picnic tables bordered by pink rose bushes surround the exterior.

Richland Carrousel Park is one of the few carrousels which is accessible to the handicapped. The horse in front of each of the chariots swivel, and the chariot seat flips up to accommodate a wheelchair. Its open 7 days a week year-round with the exception of New Years Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

For more information, visit richlandcarrousel.com/ or call 419-522-4223.