“I love to seek out carousels as we travel. Antique or newly carved there’s a certain romance as the music plays and we ride our chosen mounts around and around. Salem,Oregon’s Riverfront Carousel has the unique feature of special holiday horses. What fun it is to take time during the busy season to take a spin.
Glad Tidings is a high stepping white horse with curly mane and tail adorned with red ribbons and a saddle bag filled with Christmas gifts. Poinsetias, greenery, bells and festive ribbons decorate Happy Holidays, a palamino.
Seasonal events include Breakfast with Santa and Photos with Santa. The carousel is open from 12-4 pm on Christmas Day and New Years Day with unlimited free rides with a canned food donation.
A dedicated community of carvers and volunteers spent four and a half years crafting the marvelous Salem Riverfront Carousel which opened in 2001. Forty-three wooden horses and two wagons were handcarved for the carousel that carries 32 horses and two foals at one time. Hundreds of hours went into the carving, sanding and painting of each steed. During your visit note that the right side,known as the “romance” side, is most highly decorated.
The adjoining gift shop may be the answer for last minute shopping. Some of the Christmas tree ornaments and toys are made by the talented volunteer carvers with proceeds supporting the non-profit carousel foundation.
When You Go: The Salem Riverfront Carousel is located in downtown Salem, Oregon at 101 Front Street NE. Rides are $1.50. Children under 42″ tall must be accompanied by an adult, standing next to the child for no extra fee. Hours change seasonally, check the web site before your visit. The carousel is fully enclosed during winter allowing visits no matter what weather conditions exist and is open every day except Thanksgiving.
Photographs from Salem Riverfront Carousel