Carousel comeback: Renovated Joyland ride brings memories back

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The lights, horses, and music are bringing memories back.

“I was totally amazed and wide-eyed girl at 12 years old the first time I ever rode it,” said Karyn Woodward.

Decades later and after five years of renovations, Woodward is getting to ride the Joyland carousel once again.

“It looks fabulous. I’m very excited about what they have done,” she said.

The carousel debuted back in 1949, and thousands rode it over the decades.

Friday night, hundreds filled Botanica Gardens to experience the ride’s great return.

“Most all of us have ridden on it. My folks have ridden on it. My kids have ridden on it. So, it’s a generation thing,” said Ken Clutter.

For father and son duo, Kevin and Kooper Cave, the re-opening is a bonding experience.

“It’s neat to see something from Joyland when I was his age and him getting to get on the same thing in a totally different area and come out here and have a really great time doing it,” said Kevin Cave.

For some hopping on the carousel is a time machine.

“It’s gonna take them back to their youth,” said Clutter.

As for the first-timers, it gives a sense of wonder.

“The lights, I really like how they just change color,” said Kooper Cave.

Meanwhile, Woodward is just happy to see her family take in the magic of the ride for themselves.

“You have traditions. This is kind of like a tradition being brought back.”

You can experience the Joyland carousel for yourself. It will be running at Botanica Gardens throughout their Illuminations event. It costs $3.00 to ride.

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