McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

May 18, 2014

Back in business: Meadowlake Park carousel will re-open May 22

ENID, Okla. — After undergoing a renovation, the carousel at Meadowlake Park re-opens May 22.

City workers have restored the carousel by cleaning it and replacing wood and electrical systems.

“There was a lot of grease and age and time,” said Roy Robins, industrial systems integrator for the city of Enid. “We tried to keep the original without taking away from the antique side of it. Pretty much everything is original except for the wood centers, which of course had to be re-done.”

The city also replaced the electrical systems and lighting, moving from dozens of bulbs to LED lights.

“You had maybe 10 or 12 of those 100-watt light bulbs on each (bar),” he said. “That’s a lot of power. Now you’re only talking about a whole line of lights for 3.3 watts. It’s phenomenal what LEDs will do for you.”

The carousel will start taking riders again at 6 p.m. Thursday. It’s been disassembled and unused since 2011, when the city agreed to place it in a new building. The structure was completed last year.

Enid Kiwanis Club has operated the carousel since 1982. The club recognized city employees during their lunch meeting Wednesday.

“It’s great to be here and see all the city employees that really are responsible for putting that carousel back together,” said Kiwanis President Jerald Gilbert, who also is the city’s chief financial officer.

The building helps because city workers used to have to disassemble the carousel every year when the operating season was over.

Kiwanis volunteers run the carousel Thursday through Sunday during the months between May and September. It will be open for Memorial Day Monday and throughout the month of May, when rides are free. Tickets usually are $1.

“As part of this restoration process, I’ve talked to many city employees who rode this very carousel when they were children,” Gilbert said in a video prepared by the city of Enid’s public relations department. “So it’s a special thing for city of Enid employees who’ve worked on it, and the Kiwanis to jointly improve the facility out here.”

Along with the paneling, lights, electric and paint, Kiwanis also is overseeing restoration of the horses by Richard Mitchell. The horses can be sponsored for restoration for about $2,000.

Robins said the carousel is a sight to see, especially after dark.

“You need to see it at night,” he said.

During a recent test of the carousel’s lights and sound system, several families were at Meadowlake, attracted by the show.

“The minute we opened up the doors, they were asking, ‘When’s the carousel open?’” Robins said.

One lucky family volunteered to be the first to ride it after renovation.

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