Sunday, January 24, 2010

St Joseph, Silver Beach Carousel

I've taken quite a hiatus from writing on this blog, haven't I? I guess that's the winter doldrums for you. I haven't stopped having fun in St. Joseph, I just haven't been motivated to write about it. D and I have mostly been spending this month working on our condo. It actually feels good to be working on projects again (more so for me than for D ;-) And with all the grey, gloomy skies we've been having, indoor projects are just the thing to focus on until we see the sun and the mild temperatures beckon us outside once again.

But enough about the winter greys. The big news in St Joseph this month has been the much anticipated grand opening of the Silver Beach Carousel and the Curious Kid's Discovery Zone. There was a New Year's Eve gala at the Shadowland Ballroom (also housed with the carousel and the museum) for those who were inclined to fork out the big bucks for a fancy evening. There was a time when D and I would have been one of those couples but not this year. This was our first year as residents of St Joseph and we wanted to spend a casual evening with family. Which is what we did. And New Year's Day was spent watching Bowl Games of course (and dealing with the mighty lake effect snowfall!). But come January 2nd, we visited the new carousel. It was the first day it was open to the public.

I must say, I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful carousel. And I've see a lot! This carousel is beautiful not only because of the the gorgeous setting with Silver Beach and Lake Michigan right outside but because the carousel is so lovely itself. The carousel animals (only half of which are horses) are each custom painted. Those who sponsored an animal got to choose what it was and what it's theme would be. I just have to share some of them with you here...

First, representing the University of Michigan (this picture was taken when the horse was on display at the St. Joseph library):


And of course Michigan State:


Western Michigan University is a neighbor of St Joseph so they were represented too:


The area high schools were honored as well. The St Joseph Bears:


The Lakeshore Lancers:


And the Benton Harbor Tigers:

The Coloma Comets had a horse too but unfortunately it was an inside horse and I couldn't get a good photo of it.

There was a nice mix of animals, some were quite unusual like this praying mantis:

And there were stationary animals for those who preferred to limit their motion (you can see a bit of the Coloma horse just under the camel's chin):

So which one did I ride? I'll bet you're thinking the U of M horse. But no, actually I wrote in the romantic peacock chair with my honey, D. It rocks!

Rides cost $2 each and last 3 minutes. You can buy tokens in bunches for a discounted price. :-)

The beautifully painted carousel animals aren't all there is to admire on this carousel though. The decorative panels on the top of the carousel were each painstakingly painted to honor a different facet of St Joseph's history. I didn't count how many there were but I'm guessing about a dozen or so. Here are some of my favorites...

Silver Beach:

The lighthouses:


And Summer in the City:


The whole carousel truly is a work of art. You have see it in person to really appreciate it.

I'll leave you  with a few last pictures of it...
The carousel on the inside:


From the inside looking out at Silver Beach:


From Silver Beach:


From the bluff at sunset:

We didn't visit the Curious Kid's Discovery Zone this time around. I figure we'll wait until some of our young nieces and nephews come for a visit and we'll explore it then.

So there you have it, the new Silver Beach Carousel. What are you waiting for? Come take a ride!

3 comments:

  1. Nice article and shots. We haven't taken the crew down yet, but it looks quite nice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. After our week in St. Joseph's this summer, I signed on your dotted line. Keep the articles and photos coming. How much would I love to have a more permanent place to stay on the Silver Beach. BTW--I have posted one of my Stories in Stone articles on the Mollhagen Building on Main Street which I photographed this summer out on Flipside.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You'll enjoy the carousel KentV. It's a delight for kids and adults!

    LindaLee, come back soon! St. Joseph just keeps getting better and better :-) I really enjoyed your article!

    ReplyDelete

What d'ya think?