— Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will offer two free hours of carousel rides on Friday —

April 6, 2016, Colorado Springs, CO – There’s a shiny gleam to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s popular antique carousel. That’s because it has been undergoing restoration work for the past 12 months to mend years of wear and tear – a natural result of so many enthusiastic riders. Now, the Zoo is ready to celebrate the accomplished work with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 8. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Zoo will offer two hours of FREE carousel rides for Zoo-goers.

The restoration project was funded jointly by the Zoo, a History Colorado preservation grant and a National Carousel Foundation grant. The restoration itself was completed by specialist Rand Hood at his workshop in Larkspur. Each horse and chariot was carefully cleaned, repaired and repainted according to painstaking methods used in the refurbishment of historic carousels. With approximately 75,000 riders a year, the carousel was in desperate need of cosmetic touch ups, but due to its age and historic status, only a specially trained restoration specialist could be trusted with the work.

Spencer Penrose, the Zoo’s founder, originally purchased the carousel in 1937. It was manufactured circa 1925 by the Allan Herschell Company of New York, and represented the company’s new “half-and-half style” carousel with a band organ like a carousel Penrose saw at the 1932 World’s Fair in Seattle. Today, the Zoo’s carousel is one of only three known carousels of this specific model still in operation in the United States.

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope that guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 230 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just ten operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues and donations for funding.