Christmas at the Carrousel
Euclid Beach, closed for the season.
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Christmas at Euclid Beach, since Euclid Beach, of course, was not a year-round park, would’ve been a quiet time of year; the rides would’ve been winterized and things would’ve looked considerably different. The “Closed for the Season” sign would’ve been up, snow would have been on the ground, and the roofs of the buildings (including our Carrousel’s) would’ve looked quiet and dull. We all know what winter in Cleveland looks like. Come Christmas time, it’s dreams of Euclid Beach and summery breezes off the Lake that we’d have, to tide us over until spring and Opening day again.
But Euclid Beach Park was not entirely asleep. As is true of all seasonal amusement parks, this “off season” is the overhaul and maintenance time; it's time to take things apart and clean things up and polish it all up for Opening Day. The Park’s maintenance department would’ve been hard at it, checking over coaster cars and other rides’ cars, repairing, refurbishing and shining everything up, be it the Carrousel’s mechanism (you should see the blueprint of just the upper part of the Carrousel - talk about intricate workings!) or the coasters’ track or even the floors of the Dance Pavilion and Skating Rink. And Euclid Beach was also known for its innovative rides; now is when new ideas would be worked up and put together – many of the stunts in the Over the Falls and the Laff in the Dark, for instance, were invented by the Park, and those wonderful big shiny Rocket Ships were designed and built in house, at Euclid Beach. All in all, while the Park may have looked quiet, to those of us passing on Lakeshore Blvd, there was a lot going on behind the scenes!
The same goes for your local carousel. Most carousels shorten their hours after New Year’s, since there are fewer visitors, so this becomes the time for the bigger maintenance projects – horses need going over for paint touchup and damage repair, while the mechanism gets a through going over (think of all those bearings and gears and other moving parts, as you can imagine, all of which dearly love grease and oil.) The brass all gets a good polish, lights are checked out, the band organ gets a tune-up – there’s certainly alot to do, to keep everything running smoothly.
Meanwhile, here in Collinwood, whatever your particular traditions are this time of year, ‘the holidays” will be all of our focus for now until after New Year’s – there’s candles to light, homes to trim, all that wonderful food to make (and eat!) Time too to enjoy our families and friends (there’s all that food, for one thing!) and just enjoy the season. (Do check out the Richland Carrousel in Mansfield and the Merry Go Round Museum in Sandusky, for a “carousel fix” between now and the end of the year – there’s something about a carousel ride when it’s winter outside that really brightens the season! Must be that “Happiest Music on Earth”!)
And after the first of the year (looking into 2011 and all the excitement we’ll be looking forward to, with the new Recreation / Community Center opening especially), let’s get our Museum idea rolling! It’ll be time to begin plans to make this very unique idea happen. We know there’s alot of support here for the idea, now’s the time to get it all together and make it happen. So -- with the idea of a Collinwood Museum soon to be discussed, your input is all the more important – stay tuned for information about those meetings to begin planning this. Both our Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society and our Euclid Beach Carrousel Committee will be working on this, and we look forward to seeing everyone when we all get together and begin to plan this wonderful idea for our neighborhood.
Until then, please get in touch with us at the Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society at CollNottHistory@aol.com or (216) 486-1298, or the Euclid Beach Carrousel Committee at email@example.com or (440) 942-1493 with your ideas, suggestions etc – we’ll need everyone working on this! Won’t it be great to showcase our neighborhood’s story, as only our neighborhood can tell it – and that’s all of us doing the telling! (There’s also the signing project at Euclid Beach State Park happening too; we just had our second meeting, and are now looking into what styles and materials are available and would work best for what we have in mind.)
Have a wonderful Christmas, and looking forward to hearing from all of you. Hope you’ve enjoyed these articles as I’ve had a ball writing them! And I’m looking forward to next year’s; it’ll be exciting to see what happens next. Thanks for your support!
President – Euclid Beach Carrousel Committee
Euclid Beach Carrousel Committee
PO Box 91162 – Cleveland OH 44101
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