Round and Round We Go

The story behind the Crescent Park Looff carousel

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Like rock-skipping and stargazing, carousels have entertained whole generations, and they never get old, no matter how many tokens you buy. We’re lucky to have preserved so many vintage carousels in the Ocean State, from the one in Providence’s Carousel Village to that of Atlantic Beach in Westerly. Every time you give that mare a whirl, just imagine how many thousands of people have saddled up before you.

The history behind the making of these carousels can be just as interesting, especially those made by Charles Looff. Charles immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1870, and he spent
decades building roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and carousels. He was a master carver and crafted each horse by hand. Only around 50 such carousels were ever constructed, and two of them are still running in Rhode Island.

Lucky for us, one of them resides in Crescent Park. The historic landmark from 1895 boasting 61 horses, one camel, and chances to reach for the brass ring! So next time you’re stocking up on fried seafood at Blount’s or admiring the view of the Providence River, why not give this rare roundabout a try?