After nearly four years, children — and adults — were able to rush the Forest Park Carousel, choose their favorite horse and take a spin on the historic ride.
The Forest Park Carousel, shuttered since 2008, held its grand reopening on Saturday, May 26, with hundreds of visitors turning out for the sun-filled event.
More than a dozen were able to take the maiden voyage on the century-old merry-go-round.
Jeff Watkins of Woodhaven brought his son, Joshua, who was among the carousel’s first riders.
“It’s a lot of fun and a great reason to get out of the house,” Watkins said. “The park is beautiful.”
“I really liked the ride a lot,” added Joshua, 8. “It went fast.”
The carousel will be open each weekend from 11 a.m. until sunset through late June. After that, it will be open every day until Labor Day. Each Saturday the carousel will also feature clown shows.
Senator Joe Addabbo, who had a chance to hop on the carousel at a press event on May 24, said he was excited to bring his daughters, Alexis and Arianna, to the same ride he once visited with his father as a child.
“It brought back memories from when my father brought me,” he said. “It’s family memories, it’s community memories and just to see my kids smile and laugh, it beats shuttered doors and a closed carousel.”
NY Carousel, the ride’s operator, said it expects to add chairs and tables and open the food stand in the coming weeks.
Ed Wendell, who has advocated for reopening the carousel for years, twice visited the ride on its opening weekend.
“Just in that initial first couple of days, seeing a new generation coming in and having their first ride and having their first experience was wonderful,” said Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, of the more than 100-year-old ride.
“We’re just traveling through; the carousel will hopefully be here for a very long time.”