Round and Round

Where in the Hudson Valley…? This unique carousel shows hometown pride. Do you know where it is?

Where in the Hudson Valley…?

As a child, there are few things more dazzling than a flashy, brilliantly colored carousel. Yet even as we age, the combination of twinkling lights, carnival music accompaniment, and animals festooned with garish colors and friendly expressions still evokes a sense of nostalgic wonderment. Although there aren’t many permanently fixed carousels in the area anymore — most come and go with the county fairs — the local merry-go-round that is home to this critter is here to stay.

Enclosed within an 8,000-square-foot pavilion, the ride features 42 hand-carved seats shaped into the forms of animals native to the Valley. Included are a black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, fox, rabbit, and bobcat, among others. Hand-painted landscapes of scenic Valley locations run along the top of the carousel; as the animals spin, speakers churn out music recorded from a 1926 Wurlitzer pipe band organ. In addition, the enclosure features a large fireplace hearth, scenic views of the surrounding area, and sufficient space for parties and other special events.

Located on the grounds of a popular state park, the merry-go-round almost never made it off the drawing board. Plans to construct a carousel were first brought forth in 1916, and again about 20 years later, by the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission. But each time, lack of sufficient funding put a stop to the proposal. Years later, a donation was made on behalf of the late George W. Perkins — the first PIPC president — by Ann Perkins Cabot, a fifth-generation Perkins family member to serve as PIPC Commissioner.

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Think you might know where to find this whirling menagerie? Write your answer (name of the park, and its adjacent city) as a comment in the box below. The first reader who submits the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

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