**Update: The grand opening has been pushed to July 13th.
Next weekend, July 6th and 7th, is the grand opening for this amazing installation. We can’t wait!
“This summer, Fête Paradiso, the world’s first traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels, will make its American debut on Governors Island in New York City. The rare, museum-quality collection, which includes a diverse array of attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as carousels, flying swings and a pipe organ, will be available for the public to ride and enjoy every weekend from July 13 – September 29.
The extraordinary festival of artisan-crafted, vintage carousels and carnival rides – like a French film miraculously come to life – is the first of its kind to appear in the United States. Among the attractions, which come from the collections of Francis Staub and Regis Masclet, is a bicycle carousel from the late 19th century – one of only two in the world that were created in Paris to encourage the use of what was then the new mode of transportation – the bicycle. (The only other bicycle carousel can be seen in the feature filmMidnight in Paris.) Fête Paradiso will also include an early 20th century Music-Hall Ball Guzzler, a carnival game that features life-size caricatures of Josephine Baker, Charlie Chaplin and other celebrities of the time.
To further enhance the nostalgic, dreamlike experience, a bumper car pavilion from 1900 has been transformed into a beer garden and special event space, and food reminiscent of a French carnival will be served by New York’s legendary French bistro Le Gamin. In addition, a 1930 children’s carousel has been repurposed into a music kiosk, where performers will entertain visitors with period music and side show performances to heighten the Fellini-inspired environment.
All of Fête Paradiso’s historic amusements will be painstakingly constructed by a French family of artisans who specialize in repairing and constructing museum-quality carousels. The group has been flown to New York to build the attraction, which will be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.