Carousel, Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Carousels have a rich history at the Minnesota State Fair. I snapped this as we were leaving the Fair grounds Friday night. I receive a great deal of joy from the vibrant color, gritty glitz, and gauzy glamour of the night lights and carnival atmosphere of walking the Fair after dark.
The daylight was fun, too, but it was hot, dusty, and humid. When night cooled the air, the antique buildings creaked with relief from the heat, the moon rose over the Grandstand, and the 300 plus acres were electric with energy. That was my favorite time to prowl.
The original Minnesota State Fair carousel was called Cafesjian’s Carousel. In 1914, Austin McFadden paid the Philadelphia Toboggan Company $8,500 to build it, transport it to St. Paul, and assemble it on the grounds of the Minnesota State Fair, where it ran for 74 years. You can read what happened next when a St. Paul couple decided to fight the good fight to preserve its history and heritage at Our Fair Carousel.
As for the carousel pictured in this photograph, I was not able to find any history from my brief research tonight. Maybe my friend that works at the Fair will be able to shed some light.
I remember riding the carousels as a child when I visited amusement parks with my parents. I always felt like I was tall and powerful, sitting atop a jumper. The standers bored me, even as a kid. I wanted to be moving, moving, moving.
Here’s a writing topic – do a 10 minute writing practice about your memories of carousels, or merry-go-rounds as we called them in my family. You can learn more about carousels at the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Write everything you know about carousels – Go!
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, September 2nd, 2007