In Kennewick, Washington, there is a popular attraction known as the Carousel of Dreams. This charming carousel is more than just a place to ride; it’s a symbol of the neighborhood’s commitment to celebrating and preserving its history.
A local retired dentist named Dr. L. R. Bob McMillan had the idea for the Carousel of Dreams. He wanted to build a location where families could gather and take a traditional ride on a beautifully made carousel. In addition to being entertaining, he pictured the carousel as a way to educate visitors about the past of the Tri-Cities region.
In 1998, Dr. McMillan gave the Carousel of Dreams project a $1 million donation, and the neighborhood came together to help him realize his dream. The Philadelphia Toboggan Company, a manufacturer of carousels since the early 1900s, constructed the actual carousel. With hand-carved wooden horses, a calliope organ, and shimmering lights, the Carousel of Dreams was constructed in the traditional manner.
The Carousel of Dreams is still a beloved landmark in Kennewick today. Riders can select from 45 ornately carved horses, two chariots, or a gondola. The personalities and histories of each horse make them special. Local families and companies sponsored many of the horses, and they took great pride in picking out their horse’s appearance and colors.
The Carousel of Dreams includes the carousel itself, a museum, and a gift shop. The museum is brimming with exhibits and displays that highlight the history of the Tri-Cities region, including details on the area’s Native American tribes, early settlers, and contemporary businesses. The Hanford Site, the local wine industry, and the area’s agricultural history are all available for tourists to learn about.
You can get the ideal memento of your trip at the Carousel of Dreams’ gift shop. A wide range of products, including apparel, jewelry, and toys with carousel themes, are available here. You can also buy a replica horse that you can customize with your own artwork.
The Carousel of Dreams’ singular feature is that it is entirely run by volunteers. The Carousel of Dreams is a community effort by everyone involved, from those who manage ticket sales and ride operations to those who care for the horses and keep the museum spotless.
Events and gatherings are frequently held at the Carousel of Dreams. For a private event, you can rent out the entire carousel, or you can have a party inside the museum. The carousel is a popular venue for families to hold their child’s birthday celebration, resulting in lifelong memories.
The Carousel of Dreams is open on select weekends throughout the fall and winter, usually from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A single ride only costs a few dollars, making rides reasonably priced. The carousel also has a special platform that can be raised and lowered to accommodate wheelchair users, making it wheelchair accessible.
More than just a ride, the Carousel of Dreams honors local culture and history. The carousel is now enjoyed by people of all ages, fulfilling Dr. McMillan’s dream. Riding the Carousel of Dreams in Kennewick is a must-do activity, regardless of whether you are a local or just passing through. So come ride this enchanted carousel and be whisked away to a more carefree time.