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Celebrate National Carousel Day by
Helping to Restore our 103 year old Carousel!

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THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  - July 25, 2018  (LSN) The Friends of Chippewa Park Carousel Restoration Team want you to celebrate National Carousel Day by not only heading out to Chippewa Park to ride our historic carousel today but by donating to the restoration campaign.

The campaign to raise funds for the restoration of the carousel has reached the halfway mark with $426,732.55 of the target $900,000 required, “but if we are to continue the restoration this fall we need to raise the remainder between now and year end” said Carousel Restoration Committee Co-Chair, Donna Gilhooly. “Fourteen of the horses have been restored while work is ongoing to rebuild the centre column panels” she said. “Another 14 horses need refurbishing, along with the rounding boards, chariots along with the electrical and mechanical systems.”

“After nearly a century of entertaining young and old alike, and over a million miles of riding pleasure, the Chippewa Park carousel is in desperate need of heritage restoration. Handcrafted by the “Amusement King” C.W. Parker in 1915, and in operation since 1934, the Chippewa Park Carousel is a rare, designated heritage structure greatly loved by the people of Thunder Bay” noted Gilhooly.

“We invite the supporters of the carousel to go to the Carousel website at and select Community Giving in order to make a donation as well as riding the Carousel Wednesdays through Sunday from 1 to 8 for the remainder of the summer.” We are pleased that today, the National Carousel Day, the Thunder Bay Museum has opened their Carousel Exhibit in the lobby of the Museum.  This is another opportunity to learn more about our exceptional, historic carousel and we invite the public to view this exhibit.”


Background: In 2014, Bette Largent, President of the National Carousel Association, and carousel historian, Ronald Hopkins founded National Merry-Go-Round Day to shine a spotlight on these beautiful, historical creations that still bring joy to people of all ages.  The date commemorates the first U.S. patent issued in 1871 to William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa for the modern carousel. 

Despite Chippewa Park’s best efforts, almost a century of wear and tear has taken its toll. It is the promise of the Carousel Restoration Committee to ensure that the lights, music and paint are all restored to their former glory. We want the magic to be alive for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Restoration is costly. High standards have to be adhered to and the best restoration practices put in place. Lisa Parr, an internationally renowned carousel restoration expert has been hired to help guide the process and to ensure these standards are met. This has meant all the work can be done by local artisans and tradespeople under her watchful eye. It takes over a week to hand strip each horse and up 3 weeks or more to complete the repairs, carving and painting.

The restoration is being performed by a team of craftspeople led by Vic Germaniuk and his company: Woodcraft Design.

In November 2017, the Carousel Restoration Committee received $100,000 from the Canada 150 Fund, with an additional $200,000 earmarked by the City of Thunder Bay in its 2018 budget. The remainder of the funds raised to date come from the adoption of a number of horses, the sponsorship of other elements and individual community donations.

The Chippewa Park Carousel was declared a Heritage Facility by Thunder Bay City Council in 1991.



If you would like to contact the Save Our Carousel campaign to donate or get involved you can go to or email [email protected].



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