Climb aboard these 4 favorites in honor of National Carousel Day | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Climb aboard these 4 favorites in honor of National Carousel Day

Mary Pickels
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels001-072119
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Nyomin Balcacci, 2, of Butler, and her mom Jen, enjoy the carousel at Idlewild and SoakZone in Ligonier Township, on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels2-072119
Tribune-Review file
A Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy crew moves a camel into position on the PNC Carousel in Oakland’s Schenley Park in this 2015 photo.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels3-072119
Tribune-Review file
Caleb and Sarah Abraham on a carousel during the Summer Safari at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium in this 2014 photo.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels4-072119
historicpittsburgh.org
Kennywood’s Grand Carousel is shown in this 1950 photo.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels5-072119
Jayson Cassidy | Facebook | Kennywoodpark
Kennywood’s Grand Carousel remains a popular ride today for visitors young and old.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels7-072119
Facebook | Idlewild & Soak Zone
This horse, Dolly, is one of three on the Idlewild & Soak Zone merry go round to carry the shield of its builder, PTC, Philadelphia Toboggan Co.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels8-072119
Tribune-Review file
D.J. Stemmler of Allison Park laughs during her first-ever carousel ride on The PNC Carousel at Schenley Plaza in this 2015 photo.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels10-072119
Courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo & National Aquarium
The Pittsburgh Zoo & National Aquarium carousel as it looks today, following a new, brighter paint scheme for the canopy and refurbished horses about five years ago.
1307188_web1_gtr-liv-carousels9-072119
Courtesy of Pittsburgh Zoo & National Aquarium
A blue and green canopy with birds was part of the former color scheme of the Pittsburgh Zoo & National Aquarium’s carousel.

The carousel, also known as a merry-go-round, is often the first ride children experience at an amusement park.

Giggling from atop a (usually) horse, they may or may not go up and down, but they surely will go round and round, typically accompanied by calliope or band organ music.

National Merry-Go-Round Day, July 25, recognizes the ongoing popularity of the ride that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can easily board and enjoy.

Although it can be described as a rotating circular platform with benches and painted horses and other animals on poles for riders, each carousel has its own personality. Some riders will even get back in line and wait for another turn if someone beats them to a favorite horse.

According to the National Carousel Association, the first U.S. patent for the modern carousel was issued to William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa, in 1871.

They pop up at most community fairs and festivals, but in the western Pennsylvania region, these four carousels are among the most well known and popular.

Kennywood Park

Originally built for the 1926 Philadelphia Sesquicentennial for $25,000, the carousel was not completed in time, according to the West Mifflin park’s website.

It features four rows of 72 animals (50 jumping and 20 stationary), including one lion and one tiger, as well as four chariots (benches) for those who may enjoy the round and round but not so much the up and down.

The carousel has 1,648 lights and a 1916 Wurlitzer band organ provides its music.

The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation has designated the carousel as a historic landmark.

Details: kennywood.com

PNC Carousel

Often simply referred to as the carousel at Schenley, the Victorian-style carousel was erected in 2006.

Visitors of all ages and abilities are encouraged to enjoy the colorful ride and old-fashioned pipe organ music in the urban Schenley Plaza along Forbes Avenue in Oakland.

The original Schenley Park Carousel opened to the public at the corner of Panther Hollow and Greenfield roads in 1913.

This year the carousel is set to run through Oct. 13, and is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with hours extended to 8 p.m. on summer Fridays and Saturdays.

Riders can purchase tokens for $2.

Through individual and organization sponsorship, each of the PNC Carousel animals has been adopted, according to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

They also have names, including “Freedom,” an eagle; “Krissy’s Lilly,” a horse; “Sea Diver,” a dolphin; “Puff,” a sea dragon; “Troy Polamalu,” a giraffe; “Rrraaa-bit,” a rabbit; the “Accessible Chariot;” “Henrietta,” a pig; and “Pitt the Panther,” (panther).

As the carousel is primarily intended for younger park users, riders over 18 are asked to use one of the stationary animals.

Details: pittsburghparks.org

Idlewild & Soak Zone

A landmark at the park’s Olde Idlewild section since 1931, the merry-go-round was one of the last built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. in the 1920s.

Three of the horses at the park in Ligonier Township still bear shields with the PTC initials.

A student packet helps young riders count the number of stationary versus moving horses.

Spoiler alert: The ride offers 28 “jumping” and 20 standing horses, along with two chariots and a band organ.

Details: idlewild.com

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The Highland Park zoo carousel was manufactured in the 1940s by the Allan Herschel company and installed with the opening of the children’s zoo in 1949.

Riders pay $2, and choose their brightly colored horse — no other animals appear on this carousel.

All 28 take their charges up and down; those interested in simply moving forward can ride one of the two, two-seater benches.

The horses are unnamed, and their colors were refurbished to freshen up the paint about five years ago.

Details: pittsburghzoo.org

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.