BY ANTHONY O’REILLY
History is spinning again at Forest Park.
NY Carousel, the ride’s operator, flipped the switch for the 40-year-old Forest Park Carousel on March 23.
The attraction closed operations in 2008, but reopened last Memorial Day weekend after undergoing extreme renovations, according to Ami Abramson, one of the directors of NY Carousel.
“This year we’re excited to start it earlier,” Abramson said. “We updated everything and it was a lot of hard work.”
Abramson said in addition to cleaning up the hand-carved animals, the mechanics of the carousel were also worked on in preparation for this year’s riders.
“We intend this thing to work for many, many years,” Abramson said.
The current carousel originally opened in 1973, after the original one was completely destroyed in a 1966 fire.
Unseasonably cold weather didn’t stop local parents from bringing their children to be one of the first riders of 2013.
Jennifer Lambert of Woodhaven said she brought her daughter, Esmeralda, to the carousel many times last summer.
“The community here is really nice,” she said. “[Abramson] is learning everyone’s name from around here. He remembered Esmeralda.”
“We will be here all summer,” she added.
Adults riding for the first time this season felt nostalgic while on the ride with their children. Jennifer Dunbar, a resident of Kew Gardens, said the carousel brings back memories of her own childhood.
“For my childhood we either went to the beach or carnival,” she said. “It’s also a chance to experience a part of New York history.”
Dunbar said she plans to host her son Nico’s first birthday party at the carousel.
“This is great,” she said. “I know the kids are going to love it.”
The carousel will be open through October 27, according to forestparkcarousel.com. For information on hours of operation, visit the website or call 718-788-2676.