WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A childhood memory for many Wichitans is coming back to life. The carousel from the defunct Joyland amusement part could be spinning again soon.
Beyond a wooded, untouched area of Wichita’s Botanica gardens is an idea. It’s an idea Botanica Executive Director Marty Miller likes to call: A new home for old memories.
“It means something to the entire community. I myself, rode the carousel when I was a kid,” said Miller.
The carousel was the centerpiece at Joyland for nearly 60 years. In 2004, the iconic merry-go-round stopped spinning when the park shut down. Now, more than a decade later, Botanica has raised the first million dollars of its $3.6 million campaign to restore the carousel and create a pavilion.
“The concept is not only a building that will house the carousel, and it will be a magnificent building. It will also be an area in which there will be a grand lawn,” Miller said.
Miller said he’s optimistic the carousel will be running in 2018 as long as Botanica can raise about $2 million more this year.
“The key is to get the naming rights for the building rights sold, then we can start construction. If we are able to get that by the end of this summer, then we will have a carousel up and running by late 2018,” he said.
Miller’s goal is to build a space where old memories can meet new ones.
“The carousel isn’t just a piece of equipment. It’s the times in which parents take their children on it for the first time. It’s the times in which people are proposed to. It’s the times after the wedding they come here and ride the carousel. Those memories last forever,” Miller said.Click here to donate to the carousel pavilion project.