As summer approaches and some areas of the U.S. are relaxing stay-at-home restrictions, the Carousel is starting to get questions about when we will reopen. We have compiled the following Q&A for our visitors and will update it periodically as more information becomes available.
Is the Carousel closed?
Yes. Unfortunately, the Carousel was closed to the public on March 12 and remains closed until further notice. The Carousel Board of Directors decided to take this proactive measure after Colorado’s governor declared a state of emergency and limited community spread of the coronavirus not linked to travel or other known cases was starting to be seen in some areas.
When will the Carousel reopen?
We don’t know yet, but we will make an announcement as soon as we are able to determine a date. The Carousel has to meet a myriad of new health requirements in coordination with Boulder County Public Health and the State of Colorado Amusement Rides and Devices Division. These requirements reflect standards set by the CDC and OSHA. The Carousel also must abide by state and county timelines for our business type, which have yet to be announced.
How will Carousel operations change?
Our No. 1 priority is to create a plan for reopening that will keep our visitors and staff safe during the pandemic. The plan will include a schedule for sanitizing the carousel between riders, changes to traffic flow within the facility, and restrictions on the number of people that can come inside at the same time. All staff and visitors will need to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. We recently tested some of these requirements on kids and moms and are pleased to report we detected no decrease in joy.
Do we need financial help?
We have applied for emergency grant funds to cover our payroll and infrastructure costs for a two-month period, but we also need to increase our fundraising and operational revenues to cover ongoing losses. The summer tourist season in Colorado will likely be impacted significantly, and we are preparing to launch a 10-year anniversary campaign soon to help sustain our operation through the crisis.
What has been happening at the Carousel during the closure?
Initially, our staff dove into in a variety of spring cleaning and maintenance projects, such as touch-up painting and resealing the carousel platform and animals. We also cleaned the windows and sills, and carvings in the upper reaches of the carousel house. Even the Twirling Girl atop the center pole got a polishing. We also cleaned out the closets on the upper level and gave away many items, including display racks we no longer have use for and a box of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we sent to a hospital in New York City.
Later, when Colorado’s governor ordered residents statewide to stay at home, we followed suit and sent most of our operational staff home for a month to help “flatten the curve.”
Management-level staff and some volunteers have continued to work on essential projects, while working from home as much as possible. Special projects have included implementing a constituent relationship management system, creating virtual events and enhancing our online store.
Can I order Carousel merchandise online?
Yes! Go to www.carouselofhappiness.org/shop to purchase Carousel-branded merchandise and books through our online store. We have upgraded our online selection, and items can either be picked up curbside or shipped to your home at standard rates.
Are you offering any online events or services?
Yes! We have been working on various online events, from band organ concerts to virtual tours of the carousel to a poetry reading. Visit our Facebook page to learn about upcoming events, or view video recordings on our new YouTube channel. At this point, we have not made any final decisions about our annual fundraiser, Animals After Dark.
Locals can also visit the carousel Sundays from 2 to 3 pm for our Community Band Organ Concerts in the parking lot. Stay in your car or bring a lawn chair if you like.
Who can I contact if I have an idea or question?
If you have a question or the next great idea, please, email us at [email protected].
Be well, stay safe and don’t forget to smile!