And will be switched from a fall festival to one in spring permanently
City council members were informed during a work session Monday evening that a delay in getting back the city’s Dentzel Carousel, which is undergoing a $1.2 million restoration in Ohio, will force a delay in the city’s annual Carousel Festival, which is normally held in September each year.
Tony Laws, Burlington’s director of recreation and parks, announced that his department plans to reschedule the annual Carousel Festival from September to an as-yet-unannounced date in either late April or early May.
Laws attributed this decision, in part, to a delay in the carousel’s restoration, which is currently taking place at a specialized workshop in Ohio. City officials blame the project’s attenuation on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which reportedly forced the out-of-state workshop to close during the early months of the virus’s spread.
Instead, the festival, held at City Park, will be moved to the spring of 2022, and the seasonal change will be made permanent, council members were told.
Meanwhile, work continues on a new housing for the carousel which is now under construction at the park.
The pandemic and the rainy weather this winter have also been implicated in the postponed construction of a new, multimillion-dollar structure that will house the refurbished carousel when it returns to Burlington. According to Rachel Kelly, Burlington’s assistant city manager for administrative services, this $2.2 million facility won’t be complete in time for Carousel Festival’s traditional September date.
Laws told the council that, rather than hold the festival without its iconic centerpiece, the recreation and parks department has chosen to move the celebration to a new time in the spring. The department’s director added that this new date will face less competition from other autumnal pastimes like football.
“It’s less crowded in the spring,” Laws told the council, “So, we won’t have to worry about all that other activity…It’s an exciting time.”