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Installation begins on riverfront carousel

Installation begins Tuesday on the carousel at Smale Riverfront Park.  The work is expected to take a week to assemble the Carol Ann's Carousel at the foot of Vine Street.

It will have 44 wooden horses and other carved characters, each with some kind of Cincinnati connection, and will operate year round.

Cincinnati Parks is introducing a new character each week. Click here to "meet the figures."

Carousel Works Vice President Daniel Jones says the carousel took about a year to make. "It depends on how big it is, how many figures are on it, how fancy it is," he says.  "Carol Ann's is one of our fancier carousels, putting it mildly. It's going to be really nice."

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Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
Carousel Works Vice President Daniel Jones (r) fits together a piece of the upper surround facade.

Admission will be $2.00 per ride. Ridership cards, good for 100 rides, will be sold for $150.

Hours will be:

  • Peak Season: Red's Opening Day to Labor Day Tues-Sun - 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Off Peak Season: Day after Labor Day to New Year's Eve Wed-Sun - 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Winter: January 1 to day before Red's Opening Day Thurs-Sun: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The carousel itself costs about $1 million. The building containing is about $4.5 million. The project is being privately funded.
A ribbon cutting is set for May 16.

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More Carousel Facts from Cincinnati Parks:

The carousel will be built at the foot of Vine Street on a tree-lined plaza filled with water features. The carousel will be 46’ in diameter and 20’ tall, contained in a glass building which will be 70’ x 90’ There will be three rows of animals/characters on the carousel platform for a total of 44 characters. The choices of characters were made by the park design team, based on the input of citizens! The carousel will operate year-round. Glass doors will allow for easy access into the carousel building and will bring the outside, in, on good weather days. A local artist, Jonathan Queen, will paint Cincinnati scenes on the carousel. The carving and painting of the animals/characters and the creation and installation of the carousel will be done by Carousel Works of Mansfield, Ohio, the world’s largest maker of wooden carousels. There will be a nominal cost to ride the carousel. The carousel and plaza will also have a floor below it that will feature a banquet/conference center The carousel will be available for private rentals for birthday parties, weddings and both corporate/civic and family functions. The carousel, its carved figures, paintings, lights, and its installation will cost $1 million. The building containing it will cost $4.5 million. The entire complex of the carousel, Anderson Pavilion, plazas, water features, comfort station and Vine Street Steps/Cascades are privately funded.