West Hempstead, NY - July 27, 2016 - The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Long Island Region is pleased to announce a celebration honoring the Hempstead Lake State Park Hand-Carved Wooden Carousel – one of only 150 antique carousels that remain in America. The event is to be held on August 13, 2016, from 1:00 until 4:00 pm, and will feature a juggling show and balloon twisting by Jester Jim, inflatables, crafts, and other children’s activities. Rides on the Carousel will be available to the public at no charge during the event.
The celebration will be held to encourage Long Islanders of all ages to develop personal relationships with their local history. The event is free; however the standard $8 vehicle use fee will be in effect.
The Hempstead Lake State Park Carousel was built between 1910 and 1917 by M.C. Illions, who is considered to be one of the two greatest carousel artists of all time. The Carousel was donated to the Long Island State Park Commission in 1931 by philanthropist August Heckscher. It was carved by hand in the Coney Island Style which is characterized by flamboyant horses covered in jewels and gold leaf. The carousel is open to the public Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm for $2 per ride.
Hempstead Lake State Park is located off Southern State Parkway at exit 18. The Carousel is located in Field 1. The park’s Carousel Room can be rented for private parties, which provides free rides on the carousel to all party guests. For additional information, please call Hempstead Last State Park at 516-766-1029.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474- 0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.