Restored Carousel To Offer Rides In N. Idaho Next Spring

Dec 5, 2016

Credit AP

A restored, hand-carved carousel will likely start offering rides next spring, a northern Idaho group says.

Coeur d'Alene Carousel Foundation President Cari Fraser tells The Spokesman-Review that plans to have it running this year changed after poor weather in October and design changes delayed work on a new building in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

"The carousel construction has been moving slowly, as of late," Fraser said. "We are on pace to be open spring 2017. I am hoping for an April opening, but as I am learning, not everything goes as planned."

Built in 1922, the 20-horse carousel operated in Coeur d'Alene from 1942 to 1975 at what was then called Playland Pier, and now called Independence Point.

It's uncertain where it was kept until the mid-1980s when it resurfaced at an auction and then traveled for many years.

Five years ago, John and Pat Foote of Coeur d'Alene bought it for $250,000 and gave it to the foundation, which has been gathering donations to get it running again.

The foundation is offering ride tokens as Christmas presents this month to raise additional money. Naming of the ponies, benches and stools are also available.

Fraser said the foundation board is working on interior design, ride fees and operation details, and that a grand opening could be held in June.

"I think that the construction progressing as it is is getting people excited for the Playland Pier carousel to be resurrected," she said.