The Carousel Summer Kickoff will be at Porter Park from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m on Friday, May 25 to celebrate the history of the Porter Park carousel.
Megan Hamblin, the leading manager of the Carousel Summer Kickoff, said the event caters to the whole community. There will be carousel rides, a farmer’s market, splash park, petting zoo, balloon twister, bounce house village, carnival games and more.
Hamblin also said there are other activities to be revealed at the event.
“I’m really excited to go to the Kickoff,” said Carolyn Dawson, a senior studying health psychology. “The carnival games are right up my alley.”
The Carousel Summer Kickoff was first started last year by Kris Bacheller, daughter of Pat Burton, head of the Carousel Restoration Committee. Bacheller wanted to celebrate the rich history of the carousel and to bring the community together to enjoy classical American entertainment.
Hamblin said the carousel was built as a traveling carnival in 1926 and came to Rexburg on July 4, 1952. After the Teton Dam collapsed in 1976, the carousel was destroyed. Many wondered whether they would ever open again.
Burton and her team of community members raised money to restore the carousel in 1990, just in time to commemorate Idaho’s 100th year of statehood.
“This event is meant to celebrate the rich history of the carousel and to bring the community together to enjoy classical American entertainment,” Burton said.
Burton said she was put in charge of the event last year. It was such a success that the city decided to make it an annual event.
“This sounds like a really fun event,” said Macy Bishop, a sophomore studying art. “I’m really excited for the petting zoo and the farmers market. To me, it’s really cool that this Summer Kickoff actually has some history and meaning behind it. It shows that with patience and time, all things can be fixed and turned into something better.”