Carousel idea for downtown Dartmouth turning heads

Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
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DARTMOUTH - A trio of women are hoping to bring a little magic to the Dartmouth waterfront with a uniquely HRM carousel.

Spinning carousel lights motion in amusement park at night.

Megan Blumenthal, a Dartmouth resident with a background in community development, teamed up with local artists Kate Hamilton and Sarah Douglas when they were left uninspired by the “typical municipal discussions” about improving the city.

They decided on a carousel where local businesses could sponsor a seat, then partner with an artist to design a unique creature or object representing our local culture.

“It’s excellent space, and it turns into something quite magical,” Blumenthal said. “It would be such an exciting draw for downtown Dartmouth.”

Blumenthal said the carousel would fit well with the development of the Dartmouth boardwalk, and would like to see some greenspace and local vendors in the area as well.

Although Blumenthal said they only began approaching businesses and local politicians over the weekend, there’s been a lot of buzz around the idea and everyone has been excited to jump on board.

“I don’t think any idea is too whimsical,” said Tim Rissesco, director for the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission Rissesco on Monday.

“These are the kind of fun things we need in our downtown.”

Blumenthal said the project would likely be privately funded with a mix of public money, and a meeting will be held soon to give the public and business owners more details.

She said there’s no date in mind for when the carousel could be built since they want to “do this right” and make a permanent installation, so Blumenthal’s team plans on lobbying HRM to make the idea part of the Dartmouth boardwalk initiative.

“This is something that’s unique,” Blumenthal said. “It is something that features the vibrancy of Halifax, of Darmouth, of our culture. I think it’s a great way to celebrate it.”

Organizations: Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission Rissesco

Geographic location: Dartmouth

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  • Joan Chipman
    March 03, 2014 - 11:08

    Good Meeting on Sunday for the Dartmouth Carousel. I had so many questions, so many ideas. I would like to be involved with this project and I don't want to wait for five years to ride the Carousel. I already knew a lot of history of carousels. I had the pleasure of watching a talented craft man carving a new horse for a carousel ride. what a wonderful way to blend old traditions with new ones. The Dartmouth Carousel will become so much more than a five minute amusement ride. I have been involved with Persons With Disabilities and I was delighted to see there are plans all ready in plans to have the Carousel open to all people. So many people cannot see anything that is not real and concrete and they do not want to visualize the possibilities of what can happen. It is quite wonderful that you are surrounded by people with magical vision. I am The Fairy God Mother. I love spending time with children. I am already imaging the possibilities leading up to the opening of the Dartmouth Carousel A Wonderful Tea and Carousel Pewter Ornaments Oh My ! It is going to be exciting!r

  • Don Compton
    February 19, 2014 - 10:27

    Marvelous idea. Many cities in the US have carousels. There is an impressive one in Mansfield, Ohio. Check out www.richlandcarousel.com. Because of our weather, the carousel would have to be enclosed, which increases the cost. I'm afraid it will be difficult to find enough investors for such a project. Perhaps videos of existing locations such as the one I mentioned above would be beneficial. Good luck.