Balboa Park carousel provides fun nostalgia.

Lady twists balloon creations near the historic Balboa Park carousel.
Lady twists balloon creations near the historic Balboa Park carousel.

Whenever I walk through Balboa Park, I almost always point my feet in the direction of the carousel.

There’s something just so innocent and joyful about the old merry-go-round. For generations it has faithfully awaited children of all ages at the north end of the park, right next to the San Diego Zoo. The whirling playful animals and marching organ music put a smile on my face and a lift in my spirit.

While the 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel has been moved a few times, for exactly one hundred years–since the Panama-California Exposition of 1915–it has stood in Balboa Park. Today it is only one of two carousels west of the Mississippi that feature the nostalgic brass ring game. Lucky riders who grab a brass ring win a free ride!

People gaze at the 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel on a summer day.
People gaze at the 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel on a summer day.
The merry-go-round features 27 horses and 25 menagerie animals.
The merry-go-round features 27 horses and 25 menagerie animals.
A brightly painted carved wooden horse awaits a passenger.
A brightly painted carved wooden horse awaits a passenger.
The carousel has stood in Balboa Park for exactly one hundred years!
The carousel has stood in Balboa Park for exactly one hundred years!
Old items in building include a rowboat.
Old items in building include a rowboat.
A brass ring game is still played today.
A fun brass ring game is still played today.
Many generations have enjoyed this cheerful San Diego attraction.
Many generations have enjoyed this cheerful San Diego attraction.
Another view past a ride for very young children.
Another view past a ride for very young children.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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