The gem of the city
The gem of the city
PAWTUCKET - Historically charming, and appreciated by visitors of all ages, the Looff Carousel in Slater Memorial Park is now open for the season.
The carousel, built in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff and installed in Pawtucket in 1910, is the oldest Looff "stander carousel" in the world.
It features 44 horses, three dogs, one lion, one camel, one giraffe and two chariots.
Looff, a Danish immigrant who lived in East Providence, carved all of the figures at night after working as a furniture maker during the day.
And thanks to historical restorations, the carousel still goes round and round today, attracting young children on field trips and newlyweds for wedding portraits.
"In all honesty, it is the true gem of the city," said John Blais, Pawtucket Parks and Recreation director.
Birthday parties, which can begin on May 4, are a popular way to enjoy the attraction, Blais said.
For $95, up to 20 children can enjoy two hours of unlimited rides. Just bring cake and food, and the park will supply tables, chairs, a free T-shirt for the birthday child, and all the popcorn the group can eat.
Special events can also be held for $200 for two hours, and $100 for each additional hour.
"The biggest thrill," Blais said, is "to see all these little kids on the carousel smiling."
And at a quarter a ride, kids can ride all day.
"I've been told it's the second cheapest in the country," Blais said. "How can you go wrong?"
The carousel is open only on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until June 30, when it will be open every day.
The Looff Carousel is just one of the park's "special entities," Blais said.
Paddleboats have also opened, for $5 per person for a half hour ride.
The swan and dragon boats are also only open on the weekends for now from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., until June 24, when they will open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For information on scheduling a birthday party at the carousel, call the Parks and Recreation office at 401-728-0500, ext. 251, or download details from www.pawtucketri.com .