I've had a surprise brewing for Alex and last night seemed like the perfect time to present it. He asked me a few question's searching for clues:
- Does it involve fish? My reply: Maybe one.
- Will there be other people there? My reply: Possibly.
- Which one of my friends would like to do this? My reply: Our friends Jenn and Clint and their two girls had a great time doing it!
- I also let him know Trax won't be bummed he missed out on it since he is having a grand time in the Adirondacks.
- I also told him it's something I love to do and would have an ear-to-ear-grin the entire time.
- Where is it? My reply, which is what gave the surprise away: NW of us.
We had a wonderful time at the Carousel of Happiness finding all the hidden treasures each hand carved animal secretly displayed. At the end of the night Alex asked me what my favorite part was. I told him that I loved that one person had a vision and followed through with it despite several challenges along the way. And that it took a community to bring it together. I also love knowing how much joy this treasure will bring to children of all ages!
From their web site:
- An outpost of simple joy. A place where mature riders can recapture carefree moments of their youth, and where young people can take their first spin on living history.
- A unique architectural statement to energy conservation that will inspire all who visit to be more responsible energy consumers. The building will be LEED-certified and will serve as a demonstration building for green, energy-saving technologies. Heat will be provided by solar-heated, radiant floors. Electricity will be generated by solar panels. A mix of recycled and environmentally-friendly materials will be used throughout the building.
- A positive, signature attraction for the Town of Nederland, Boulder County and Colorado. Carousels across the country have had a beneficial impact in their respective communities. Locally, we anticipate the carousel's presence will attract additional revenue for local businesses as passers-through stop to ride. We believe the carousel will become a destination attraction for many, and we plan to attract vans and buses of visitors of all ages.
- A unique, participatory exhibit of folk art. The 36 carousel animals were born of the carver's imagination ' a labor of love that took 22 years and counting. He designed and carved each of them from basswood and decorated them with acrylic paint ' techniques used by carousel carvers for more than a century. The collection includes a horse, lion, tiger, pig, dolphin, dragon, great blue heron, cow and lots of whimsical surprises.
- A place where education is fun, where a carefree past meets the modern reality of the need to conserve energy for the survival of the planet. We will make a portion of the public space available for educational displays and demonstrations.
- A community place to share art, poetry and literature. Inspired by the carved animals and decorations, the carousel building includes a 992-square feet room dedicated to the sharing and enjoyment of the arts. Artists and authors from Nederland and beyond will have a place to share their talents with the community.
- A destination for people with disabilities honoring the carousel's history of service. Although the carousel originally was operated at Saltair amusement park near Salt Lake City, Utah, from 1910 until 1959, it graced the grounds of the Utah State Hospital for people with mental disabilities for 27 years until 1986, when it was purchased it and moved to Nederland in pieces. To honor that part of its history, we envision inviting people with disabilities to visit the carousel in groups or individually. The building is carefully designed to serve people with disabilities. The carousel has been adapted to accommodate several people with disabilities at once. A gigantic wooden gorilla sits ready to put his arm around riders who use wheelchairs.
- A sustainable outpost of joy and giving for Colorado children. The Carousel of Happiness was conceived as an instrument of giving. It will give joy to all who ride, watch the galloping art, and listen to the historic music, to be sure. But it will also be an instrument of giving succor to Colorado children deprived of joy in their lives for a myriad of reasons. The carousel board of directors, or a separate foundation established for the purpose, will oversee the distribution of all profits after operating expenses to organizations and institutions that serve underprivileged and aggrieved children. Profits will come from riding fees, a small gift shop inside the carousel building, and proceeds from special events held in a room designed for this purpose.
- A living piece of American history: Charles Looff carousel that is the heart of the Carousel of Happiness is one of only about 150 surviving carousels from 5,000 built during the golden age of the American carousel (1880-early 1930s). American craftsman borrowed the basics from Europe, but American carousels quickly surpassed their old world cousins in imagination and style. Carvers moved beyond horses to animals of the jungle, farm, forest and mythology. The Carousel of Happiness is true to this quintessential American tradition. The carver has let loose his whimsical imagination to design the animals and hand carved them according to tradition from basswood, the wood from the Linden tree. When the switch is thrown on the original motor, and the reborn carousel jumps to life for the first time, the Carousel of Happiness will rejoin a rich legacy of American culture.