Richland Carrousel Park gearing up for its 30th year | Business News
MANSFIELD Sharon Bishop tried to send a clear message: Richland Carrousel Park is open.
The Carrousel director said there had recently been a rumor that the organization was shut down due to a financial crisis, which is incorrect and potentially dangerous for the company.
The Carousel Works, Inc., which manufactured the 52 animals in the Carousel, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in early January and closed its operations in Mansfield.
The Parc du Carrousel not only opened the door after a difficult year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but will celebrate its 30th anniversary at the end of August. Several events are planned for the coming months.
Bishop said Wacky Wednesday, a weekly activity starting in 2019, is back. It starts at 11 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m. Wednesday in August. Children will start with story time and do yoga with a professional instructor. They can also get free rides and play different games, according to the manager.
On June 20, Father’s Day, all dads can get unlimited free rides and a box of popcorn at the Carousel, Bishop said. The organization will take part in the Soapbox Derby in downtown Mansfield on June 26. Bishop said an 8-year-old girl will race the Carrousel soap car and staff will provide hot dogs and drinks.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary, the Carousel is working with Richland Academy on hosting a series of events from August 24-28. Bishop said free rides will be available to everyone on August 28.
The beloved “Touch-A-Truck” event will return on September 18th. Walnut and Fourth Streets will be closed for the showcase of all types of vehicles, according to Bishop.
There will be fire trucks and different types of police cars, the director said, as well as dump trucks.
The Richland Carousel Park, which opened on August 30, 1991, is the first new, hand-sculpted carousel to be built and operated in the United States since the 1930s, according to its website.
Bishop said the Carousel has gone through a lot of changes in downtown Mansfield.
“We have brought in some fabulous businesses, from restaurants to hair salons,” said the director. “It all started with the arrival of the Carrousel in the city center and changed the whole perspective of the city. “
The area is evolving from a place where “you wouldn’t let your kids walk” to now “the beauty of it all,” Bishop said.
Like many other businesses, the Carousel suffered financially amid the pandemic. Bishop said he closed the door twice amid the pandemic and started reopening three days a week in February. Now it opens six days a week.
With the lifting of COVID-19 health orders, business is picking up. Bishop said all doors are open at the Carrousel, so people feel comfortable being there. Several birthdays have taken place in the establishment.
As someone who worked at the Carousel for 15 years, Bishop said she doesn’t think there is a better job anywhere. It’s a place where people have fun. While the pandemic has made things difficult, the manager said staff have kept a good attitude and want things to work.
Richland Carrousel Park is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It closes on Monday. More information can be found on his website.