A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at Central Park’s Friedsam Memorial Carousel on Saturday, October 16 at 12pm. The ceremony will be hosted by Central Amusement International, Inc., the new operators of the carousel and owners of Luna Park in Coney Island. Central Amusement International was also the former operator of Central Park’s Victorian Gardens (which closed at the beginning of the pandemic and according to reports, may not reopen).
Following the ceremony, speeches will be made by the company’s CEO, Alessandro Zamperla, and representatives from the New York City Parks Department. The first 50 riders will also get to ride the carousel for free.
The carousel has been stationary since COVID-19 hit NYC. Located mid-park near 65th Street, this iconic attraction dates back to 1908, though its current configuration (which is the fourth in this location) was installed in 1951. The ride features fifty-seven horses and two chariots which were hand-carved and painted in the Williamsburg studio of Russian immigrants Sol Stein and Harry Goldstein.
The merry-go-round was named after philanthropist Michael Friedsam (1858-1931).
Recently it’ been impossible to enjoy the park on the weekends with all these tourism helicopters.
Prior to the pandemic, at a time when the Trump Organization still sponsored the carousel, I took my grandson to ride the merry go round. When the music started and played, “I Don’t Want Her, You Can Have Her She’s Too Fat For Me” I thought how appropriate…body shaming from a misogynist.
Let’s hope the new sponsors will eliminate this song from the repertoire.