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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Restored Coeur d’Alene carousel expected to open next spring

A new building for an old carousel has risen in downtown Coeur d’Alene, but the ponies won’t be spinning until next spring.

The historic carnival carousel once operated at Playland Pier on the city’s lakefront, but it has sat in storage for years.

A community group raised money for a new home for the 1922 Stillman carousel next to Memorial Field near City Park.

Organizers had hoped to complete the project and begin offering rides this year, but poor weather in October and minor design changes delayed the work.

“The carousel construction has been moving slowly, as of late,” said Cari Fraser, president of the Coeur d’Alene Carousel Foundation. “We are on pace to be open spring 2017. I am hoping for an April opening, but as I am learning, not everything goes as planned.”

The group anticipates a grand opening in June.

“I think that the construction progressing as it is is getting people excited for the Playland Pier carousel to be resurrected,” Fraser said.

The foundation board is working on interior design and ride fee and operation details, she added.

The foundation will offer token bags as Christmas presents this month to raise more money for the project and create a buzz through the holidays. Also, naming opportunities remain for rounding boards, ponies, benches and stools. Details are at

The 20-horse carousel entertained children and families at Playland Pier from the 1940s to the 1970s. For many years after that it operated as a traveling display through the U.S. and Canada.

An Oregon couple bought the carousel in 1987 and restored it, and in 2011 retired real estate developer John Foote and his wife, Pat, paid $250,000 for it and gave it back to Coeur d’Alene.

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