Prairie Village News 7/17/18

Faron Wahl, Manager.

The accelerator is nearly to the floor.

I mentioned in last week’s column that the typical mid-July lull in our schedule normally allows us to catch our breath a bit and regroup for August’s big run. But at July’s mid-point this season, our staff’s pace is in high gear. In addition to the usual long list of items to be readied, one giant focal point currently overarches all others: the return of our beloved carousel.

There is much to do before it arrives later this month, and then a separate schedule of items needing completion will follow the departure of the Carousel Works team. The lists have been organized for many months, but now is when it all moves from the planning stage to operations.

The carousel building that’s housed this historic gem during most of its time at the village is getting a complete spruce-up. Paint that was ready for attention last year was intentionally delayed so the freshest, tidiest possible view could be offered our guests when we welcome the carousel home.

Unlike a simple, four-sided structure needing a main coat of paint and simple trim work, our 20-door pavilion is multi-colored and sports dozens of 90-degree column edges. While the carousel and the building its housed in don’t share any history prior to the late 60’s, its nonetheless a fun and visually appropriate means of enclosure, and one our guests have become accustomed to. It’s been colored festively for many years, which will continue, but we’re upping the ante with improvements to the paint scheme.

Electrical upgrades which have been sorely needed must naturally be done during this restoration. While these plans were drawn up and ready many months ago, much of the actual work inherently had to wait until the carousel was ready to head home, allowing the whole system to be installed in an integrated sort of way.

Same with the new addition to our motor drive, which will allow better overall control of the ride than was available to our operators in the past. All the intentions one can pencil out come down to timing at the end, when all the parts begin to fit back together. In other words, in spite of much advance planning, there’s an inevitable race against the clock right at the finish, now that our horses are ready to stampede back west.

Here’s the biggest news (get your calendar and pen): our grand welcome home celebration will be Saturday, August 11 at 2:00 pm. This festive event will occur right in front of the carousel (south side) and will allow us to pay tribute to the entire restoration process and those who played varied roles in making it happen. It will be a magnificent day. And while your calendar is handy, mark down Sunday, August 12 as the rain date, just in case.

We have two great events occurring between now and then – our Abbey Road concert July 28 and our 25th annual car show August 5. I’ll share more on both during the next couple of weeks, and we hope you’re planning to join us for those. But do also plan now to join us August 11 as we celebrate the fabulous restoration of our carousel. It’s been a long time coming, and we don’t want you to miss it!