It’s been 2 years since the historic Seaside Heights carousel closed. When will it return?
It has been two years to the day since the historic Seaside Heights carousel took its last spin. But the 110-year-old carousel is getting a new life.
The Casino Pier Carousel closed on April 7, 2019. The carousel was removed from the pier and will soon be relocated to the north end of the boardwalk in the hopes of bringing families to the usually quiet section.
“It’s a very exciting process to see the architecture plan when I stand inside the rotunda and look up. It looks like a carousel building,” says Seaside Heights Administrator Christopher Vaz.
The $2.6 million carousel home and museum is being built in what was an empty lot.
“Having something of a historic nature is very important. You don’t see it everywhere. It’s special, our carousel is special,” says Vaz.
The disassembled ride has remained in storage since the fall of 2019. The hand-crafted wooden horses and animals line the walls of a shed – some on pedestals where touch-up work continues. The intricate working mechanism of the ride will be shipped out to Ohio to a specialized repair shop for a full refurbishment.
“It’s like the tree you save in certain areas. You count the rings on a tree, you know that’s been there since the Revolution. The carousel is a similar type of artifact. You know it’s been in town through all types of things,” says Vaz.
Work on the rotunda is scheduled to be complete by early summer, with a grand reopening of the carousel slated for 2022. A soft opening on the rotunda building is planned for the Fourth of July, featuring live music, historical reenactments, and children's activities.