Lion & Horses & Chariot! Oh My!
VIDEO soundtrack: Billy Joel’s ‘Waltz #1 (Nunley’s Carousel)’ on Nunley’s Carousel organ • FULL SCREEN: click lower right corner
What goes around (and around) has come around on Long Island this summer!
We can once again enjoy Nunley’s Carousel, which recently reopened after the Covid-19 pandemic forced it to close in 2020.
The official ceremony on August 16th had speeches, a ribbon-cutting, and the ultimate fun treat for all – especially the many young children and their parents – a nostalgic ride on Nunley’s Carousel’s lion, 41 horses, and chariot.
• my Photo Gallery – Nunley’s Carousel reopens
(Plus, click each photo below to see larger one.)
The carousel – now under the management of the Long Island Children’s Museum – is located in the Nunley’s Carousel glass pavilion on Museum Row in Garden City, It’s between LICM and the Cradle of Aviation Museum, which previously managed the carousel.
If you’d like to ride the carousel this summer, be sure to visit by September 11th, since it will be closed from September 12 to October 4, 2022 for the Long Island Children’s Museum Fall Fix-Up.
During the ceremony, Nassau County Executive BRUCE BLAKEMAN shared childhood memories of Nunley’s.
Excerpts from his speech:
Let me tell you something, I was one of those kids that grew up at Nunley’s, and I grew up in Valley Stream, probably 4 1/2 – 5 miles from Nunley’s.
And on a Sunday, if we were really good, and my 3 sisters and brother, we would be treated to going to Nunley’s. And we would ride the roller coaster, and we’d ride the other rides.
And of course, the highlight was always the carousel, and it brings back so many childhood memories to be here today.
I just talked to so many people in the community who remember vividly the first time they went to Nunley’s and they used the carousel and they took all the rides,
And you know, this carousel right here is a real work of art. It’s over 110 years old, and the fact that we could restore it is really something special.
So I couldn’t be more pleased to be here today for the opening again of the Nunley’s Carousel, a place that brought me so many great memories, childhood memories.
I have 3 sisters and a brother. They live in Arizona now. They are gonna be so jealous when I send the photos today of that.
By the way, we got to go [to Nunley’s] if we got good grades and we behaved ourselves, so obviously my sisters got to go a lot more than I did….
Based on the laughs following Blakeman’s final comment, many related to it – I certainly did!
Among those Blakeman thanked for attending:
- SUZANNE LEBLANC – Long Island Children’s Museum President
- SCOTT BERMAN – Long Island Children’s Museum Board Chair
- ANDREW PARTON – Cradle of Aviation Museum President
- GARY GRASSO – National Carousel Association Board Member
- FRAN PATERSON – Nunley family representative – the great-niece of William Nunley. (photo near end of post)
- GARY FARKASH – Baldwin Historical Society President
Nunley’s Carousel Wurlitzer 153 Band Organ
When the carousel first started, I was surprised the music was a recording of Billy Joel performing his ‘Waltz #1 (Nunley’s Carousel)’ on the piano. Why wasn’t the organ playing his music?
- During the ceremony, the carousel organ was set so it could only play off music rolls, not MIDI files (Musical Instrument Digital Interface files)
- The midi was disconnected.
- Blowers providing air for the organ were on.
- The pump which provides air to play pipes, and to read the music roll as it passes over the tracker bar, was also on.
- To play off the MIDI files, the pump has to be turned off, and the MIDI has to be reconnected.
I look forward to my grandchildren enjoying the full Nunley’s Carousel experience in the future: riding the magnificently carved and decorated carousel horses, lion, and chariot + hearing the carousel organ playing music.
When BILLY JOEL composed ‘Waltz #1 (Nunley’s Carousel)’ he had BOB STUHMER arrange it for Nunley’s Carousel organ. Stuhmer – a member of AMICA (Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association) and COAA (Carousel Organ Association of America) – gave Nunley’s a CD of music he arranged for its organ and professionally recorded on site. ‘Waltz #1 (Nunley’s Carousel)’ is the first piece on the CD. (see above photo)Historic Carousel Award 2020
GARY GRASSO, a board member of the National Carousel Association, presented the Historic Carousel Award 2020 to Nunley’s Carousel. NCA had been waiting since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Long Island to present the plaque. (see above photo)
That’s the ticket
Get useful, updated info here: licm.org/nunleys
- One ticket is $3 for members of Long Island Children Museum
- One ticket is $4 for non-members
- Ten-ticket packs are discounted
… and the Nunley’s Carousel experience is – wait for it – priceless!
Feature Photo (at top of post): Garden City, New York, U.S. August 16, 2022. A young girl and her mother ride on horses when historic Nunley’s Carousel officially reopens. (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com).
Nunley’s Carousel Reopens: my PHOTO GALLERY