On Saturday, May 25, the carousel, which has been closed for nearly four years, will again welcome children to ride it's nearly 50 horses and two chariots.
“I drive through this park with my two daughters, and I would tell them that there was a carousel here,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who joined other Queens officials for a first ride on the carousel Thursday morning. “Now they will actually get to ride it themselves.”
The frame for the Forest Park Carousel was built in 1890, and the animals on the ride were carved in 1903 by Daniel Muller, a renowned carver of carousel animals. Only two of his 12 creations are still in existence.
Originally the carousel operated in Dracut, Massachusetts, but when a carousel at the same site in Forest Park burnt down in 1966, the Muller carousel was discovered in Connecticut and moved to Queens.
The carousel, located just inside the park near the Woodhaven Boulevard entrance, was closed in 2008 when then-operator New York One, LLC abandoned operations. The company, however, continued to run the carousel in Flushing Meadows Corona Park under a separate contract with the Parks Department.
Earlier this year, the department issued a new request for proposals combining the operation of the two carousels into one contract. NY Carousel Entertainment was awarded the concession, and will also operate the carousel in Flushing Meadows, which will open this weekend as well.
Both carousels will run from 11 a.m. to sunset on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. There will be children's shows at 2 and 4 p.m. each day.
Forest Park was in danger of losing the carousel, but the outcry from local elected officials and community groups pressured the Parks Department into finding a new operator.