Buffalo group trying to save historic carousel - KOTA Territory News

Buffalo group trying to save historic carousel

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No one has taken a ride on Buffalo's Cowboy Carousel in years, except for a brief period last summer, but the attraction holds a soft spot in the community's heart.
"This is a part of Buffalo's history and we don't want to lose it," said Arts Along the Big Horns President Kitty Merrill.
The carousel that was built in New Jersey 88 years ago and relocated to Buffalo in 1989 saw its home sold recently.  So Arts Along the Big Horns stepped in with a fundraising effort through the web site, Kickstarter to save and move the carousel.
"It is the only Cowboy–Indian Carousel in the United States and it's the only carousel in Wyoming," said Merrill.
Groups like the local chamber are helping because of the potential tourism boost.
"Nationwide, carousels that are historical are traveled and visited quite often," said Buffalo Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angela Jarvis.
The carousel's new home is already picked out within what is already being called the "Cowboy Carousel Community Center."
"The lot is large enough to put the carousel in, a gift shop, a stage, a pavilion," said Merrill.
The plan is to put the carousel in the lot right behind the main building in the summer of 2014.  The center itself will open up fully in a few months to house large group gatherings.
"It would help the economic viability of downtown.  It would keep people busy mixing and mingling a little bit more and offer more of an opportunity for people to see things and experience our town," said Jarvis.
But the carousel needs major renovations before going anywhere.
"There were some feet that were broken (off the horses) that people had stepped on and there's some gears that need some work also.  And we've had a lot of people say they can do in–kind work," said Merrill.
The Kickstarter deadline came and went Saturday night and $25,561 was raised.

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