PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — After months of extensive restoration and repairs, the Looff Carousel at Slater Park has reopened.
The park’s iconic 124-year-old carousel has been closed for repairs since March.
As Eyewitness News reported in early August, the project was running a few weeks behind schedule because of delays in the approval process with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, as well as the discovery of an easement on the property, said Wil Arboleda with the City of Pawtucket.
“It’s important to our heritage and to our history,” Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said.
Grebien said the cost was in the ballpark of $300,000 paid through a bond, approved by voters.
He called the carousel a part of the culture of Pawtucket.
“We are trying to reinvest in our community, this is a great way, and an important way to move forward while preserving our past,” Grebien said.
Born in Pawtucket, Angie Botelho now lives in Cranston. But she brought her granddaughter Saturday to ride the carousel.
“I believe I was around 5-years-old,” Botelho said of her first time riding the carousel.
It was the fun and simple memories of yesteryear that brought her back.
“You can bring your children, you can bring your grandchildren and let them enjoy the simplicity of it,” she said.
Her husband Tom Botelho said it costs 50 cents to ride.
“We have been here before, they redid it and it’s just gorgeous. They did a nice job with it,” he said.
This story has been edited from its original version to correct the name of the organization involved in the restoration approval process. The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission oversaw that process.