Children in Santa Barbara will have their last chance to whirl around the Chase Palm Park carousel in a couple weeks. The owner of the 1916 merry-go-round, Historic Carousels Inc. of Oregon, is breaking its 20-year lease with the city early because it’s become such a money-loser during the winter months, said Jill Zachary, director of City Parks.
“We are sad to see the carousel go,” said Zachary in a statement. “Throughout the country, carousels have played an important role in the development of family recreation and entertainment. We understand the need to preserve this important historic specimen in a museum setting, and want to celebrate its time in Santa Barbara by providing the community with a family festival to enjoy the carousel before it is taken to its new home.”
The hand-carved horses and colorful carriages will move to a historic carousel museum in Hood River, OR, as the first piece in its anticipated collection. The Allan Herschell Three-Abreast Carousel has occupied its glass-paneled home in Santa Barbara since 1999. To say goodbye, a carousel carnival takes place on December 2, with rides that Saturday and Sunday free of charge.
“I cannot express how appreciative and honored I am to have worked with the City of Santa Barbara and the Parks & Recreation Department for over two decades,” said Brad Perron, president of Historic Carousels. “This carousel has enormous sentimental value to our family. It will be the first part of our development plans for a Carousel Museum next to an outdoor amphitheater and destination hotel.”