COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho --- The carousel near Lake Coeur d’Alene that disappeared in the 1970’s is back and is now working for all to enjoy.
The carousel had its ribbon cutting Friday, June 9 and residents were allowed to ride it too! This was the first official ride for the carousel in years. It is at Memorial Field and is open to the public with free rides all day on opening day.
The carousel grand opening is during the first Annual Family Day in the Park & Fancy Flea Market from noon to seven p.m. Friday, June 9. The event has things going on throughout the City Park, Memorial Plaza, Memorial Field and Skateboard Park.
The Coeur d’Alene Carousel started in the 1940’s where Independence Pier is now. Eventually the pier fell into disrepair and the carousel mysteriously vanished.
The entire carousel appeared next in the late ‘80s at an auction in western Washington, where it was bought by a couple from Oregon. They leased it out over the next several years and it went across the continent several times.
In 2010, a local couple saw an article about the carousel in the newspaper. They bought it the next year and brought it back to Coeur d’Alene.
"We want to see this put together, in its entirety, in place, back in Coeur d’Alene, which is its home,” said a member of the CDA carousel foundation, Rita Sims-Snyder.
As part of the Four Corners project at the intersection of Mullan Road and Northwest Boulevard, the city agreed to set aside the land next to Memorial Field for the carousel.
"It is virtually unheard of in the nation to have the original carousel back to it's own home," said Cari Fraser, from the CDA Carousel Foundation.
This is where it stands today.
The reopening of the carousel was a moment close to half a century in the making for Shirley Hall. Hall, who is now 82, grew up in Coeur d'Alene and used to ride the very same carousel when she was a little girl in the 1940s.
She was first in line to ride again, and said with the sound of the ringing bell, her childhood memories cam flooding back.
"Oh, it's such elation!" she exclaimed. "It makes me want to cry. It's like I'm back to being a kid again, it's awesome."