Though slightly dampened by the spring rain, the Forest Park Carousel took its first spin of 2014 this weekend, opening for its first full season as a city landmark.
The merry-go-round, located atop a hill just a few dozen yards west of Woodhaven Boulevard across from the Seuffert Bandshell, will be open weekends until Memorial Day, when it will start spinning full time. It will be open daily while schools are on spring recess between April 12 and 22, according to the website of its operator, New York Carousel.
Ami Abramson, director of New York Carousel, said the attraction opened as scheduled Saturday, but the rainy weather did not allow the ride to remain running all weekend.
New York Carousel entered a contract with the city’s Parks Department to operate the ride in 2012 after it had been shuttered for three years after the previous operator’s contract expired.
Under its contract with the city, New York Carousel is permitted to add attractions on the parkland to the east and north of the carousel, in a section of the park leading to Woodhaven Boulevard. Abramson said there is movement to add attractions to the site, but not this year. He did not say what type of rides would be added to the site.
“It likely will not happen in 2014,” he said. “It likely will happen for the 2015 season.”
The ride, which features hand-carved horses and seats, is more than a century old and has been in the park since 1973, when it was moved from its original location in Massachusetts. It replaced the original Forest Park Carousel, which burned down in 1966.
The carousel was given landmark status by the city Landmarks Preservation Committee last summer, made official by the City Council last October. The designation was long fought for by Woodhaven civic leaders, who feared the attraction might be torn down after it was shuttered in 2009.