Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
May 21, 2005
The park was busy on this Friday morning with moms pushing babies in strollers and a couple of school busloads of elementary-age children at the playground. A walking path takes visitors around the perimeter of the park, along the river and past the Eco-Earth, playground, and carousel.
The Eco-Earth measures 25 feet in diameter. Formerly an "Acid Ball" used by Boise Cascade Corp., it was a pressure vessel used in the processing of wood pulp into paper. Through community effort, donations by local citizens and businesses and volunteer work, the Eco-Earth was formed. Covered in tiles, this huge globe displays art depicting images representative of each continent and ocean.
The Riverfront Carousel boasts 42 carousel horses and 2 Oregon Trail wagons. Each piece is hand carved and painted by local artisans. Rides are $1.25. A gift shop is attached with a nice selection of carousel items and other animal souvenirs. You might also catch an artist working on another carousel creation. Visitors are encouraged to watch and ask questions.
Salem Carousel 503-540-0374 101 Front Street NE Salem 97301
From journal Sightseeing Salem, Silverton, Sublimity & Beyond
December 29, 2003
This is only the second hand-carved carousel to be constructed in the US since the 1920s. The other is in Missoula, Montana. It was upon riding that in 1995 that a woman named Hazel Patton determined to have one where she lived. Upon seeing a carving demonstration by Dave Walker, she realized her enthusiasm would not be enough to see the project realized. Her enthusiasm would have to spread. As you can tell, she was eventually successful. All horses, and other carved decorations, were "adopted" by local families, which basically means that the funding to pay for each came through donations from the community. Volunteers, taught by Dave, did all the carving. The carousel finally opened to the public June 1, 2001.
Originally the, about 20-minutes of, music was played off paper rolls like a player piano, by the 7-foot-2-inch band organ which weighs in at 700 pounds. Since this method had a limited lifespan (the paper disintegrates with use) these rolls were replaced with MIDI, a far more durable system but a less interesting idea to muse, although the real instruments still play.
This article from the Statesman Journal on the Riverfront Carousel has a complete listing of music played as well as photos and "bios" (under Horse Tales) for each horse and information on carousel.
The gift shop has a large stock of horse and carrousel related items some of which you can purchase online. If you should be here around Christmas you’ll find a variety of unique and charming tree decorations.
The carousel is located in a pavilion in Riverfront Park (my entry)pretty much opposite where State Street ends upon intersecting with Front Street. A Map and directions are available by scrolling down this page.
There’s lots of parking adjacent to the pavilion. At the north end of the park is A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village (journal entry)with its Children‘s Museum and giant erector set.
Open: (Winter) Mon-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm; (Summer) Mon-Thurs 10am-7pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Closed Thanksgiving.
Rides: $1.25. Free rides Christmas Day 12pm-5pm.
Contact: 503-540-0374, (fax) 503-763-0630
From journal Cherry City and Irises, a Tale of Two Capitols