- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho group says it hopes to break ground this summer so a restored, hand-carved carousel that’s nearly a century old can start thrilling riders again.

The Coeur d’Alene Carousel Foundation has raised about $275,000 of the $450,000 needed to get the carousel operating at a site in Coeur d’Alene that’s already been approved.

Plans call for putting the carousel in front of the Memorial Field grandstand, near City Park in an area called Four Corners.

“They say what makes a carousel work is being close to parks and people, good exposure, near water,” Cari Fraser, the foundation’s president, told the Coeur d’Alene Press (https://bit.ly/1TE7uoB). “We believe Four Corners is perfect because of the history and heritage of that area that the city is developing, and bringing the history back to the people of Coeur d’Alene is what our goal is.”

Fraser said there could be a grand opening this year.

The group plans to hold an open house in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Saturday with some of the carousel’s restored ponies available for viewing.

“The idea is to let the public see it,” Fraser said. “A lot of people don’t know what it is or where it came from.”

Built in 1922, the carousel operated in Coeur d’Alene from 1942 to 1975 at what was then called Playland Pier, and now called Independence Point.

It’s uncertain where it was kept until the mid-1980s when it resurfaced at an auction and then traveled for many years.

Five years ago, John and Pat Foote of Coeur d’Alene bought it for $250,000 and gave it to the foundation, which has been gathering donations to get it running again.

The foundation has raised $75,000 and local businessman Bud Ford pledged $200,000 toward the $450,000 needed.


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