The Daily Bee: Carousel’s ‘ponies’ closing in on home of their own

The Carousel of Smiles in Sandpoint, Idaho, is making significant progress towards completion, thanks to the efforts of the community and the owners, Reno and Clay Hutchinson. The golden age carousel, purchased in 2000, is being meticulously restored with the help of volunteers, including the “Gear and Grease Gang” and the “Godfather Squad.” The restoration process involves careful painting and attention to detail, with each horse taking over 400 hours of work before it is handed off to the artists. The Hutchinsons presented updated renderings of the Carousel Pavilion Arts and Events Center to the Sandpoint City Council, emphasizing the carousel’s role as the centerpiece of the facility. The Hutchinsons envision the carousel becoming a year-round attraction, contributing to the community’s economic lifestyle and providing a space for various events. The current plan places the carousel at Sand Creek, offering access to both City Beach and downtown Sandpoint. While the carousel is the highlight of the building, the facility is designed to be a multi-use complex, allowing for flexibility in its use.

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