Botanica breaks ground on Joyland Carousel Pavilion

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

In its heyday, the carousel at Joyland was a fan favorite. For more than 50 years, it brought joy to its riders.

That historic carousel will now sit at Botanica, after being donated by Joyland's owner Margaret Nelson Spear 4 years ago.

Marty Miller, Botanica's Executive Director said, “I noticed Margaret had tears in her eyes. She said Joyland is gone and it's never going to come back. She said there was one last big piece and that's the merry-go-round and I want to donate it to Botanica.”

The Nelson family attended Monday's groundbreaking ceremony where the merry-go-round will be housed in a pavilion.

Stephen Nelson, Margaret’s son said, “We are really excited. It's unique and just to give kids a chance to ride again is pretty cool.”

There's still more work to be done in restoring the merry-go-round.

Marlene Irvin is a painter spending countless hours on restoring the horses.

"Each individual horse might take 200 hours or more," she says "My final act is to do the artwork and clear it and get ready for the next generation of riders.”

While Joyland is no more, Botanica's carousel pavilion will be a joyride for generations to come.

Miller said, “What this means is that Botanica is now part of that legacy bringing happiness to everyone that visits here.”

The Allan Herschell Company designed the carousel in 1949 and it spent 59 years of its life at Joyland. There are only five remaining Allan Herschell Carousels in the world and Botanica will house of them.

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