The Daily Bee: Council hears proposal for historic carousel

During a Wednesday night meeting, the City Council in Sandpoint, Idaho, heard a proposal for incorporating a historic carousel owned by Clay and Reno Hutchison into the city’s parks and recreation master plan. The carousel, exhibited in 1952 at the Kansas State Fair, was purchased by the Hutchisons in 2000 and has undergone extensive restoration. The proposed locations for the carousel include City Beach and the Sand Creek parking lot, with City Beach being the preferred option. The council members were broadly supportive of the project, praising the community effort and collaboration with local artists. The carousel restoration involves over 200 volunteers and artisans. The plan is to maintain ownership of the carousel as a 501(c)(3) organization and raise funds for a building, aiming for completion within two years. The council also approved policies for leases at the Baldy Mountain Communication Site and updated plans for access and protection of the Little Sand Creek watershed. Additionally, a resolution to extend the current collective bargaining agreement with the local firefighters union for an additional 90 days was approved to review the upcoming fire services operations study report from Fitch & Associates.

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Merry-Go-Roundup – The Glass Eye

Merry-Go-Roundup  featured The Carousel of Smiles in its Spring 2020 issue, observing the progress in restoration with an article titled “The Glass Eye”.

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Sandpoint Reader: Carousel of Smiles hosts champagne reception

The Carousel of Smiles, undergoing a significant artistic transformation since its unveiling two years ago, invites the public to a free champagne reception on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Mountain West Bank. The event will feature 15 ponies on display, each showcasing a step in the restoration process, with volunteers available to explain and answer questions about the project. Co-founder Reno Hutchison expresses excitement about the progress and invites the community to witness the amazing work happening during the celebration.

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The Daily Bee: Volunteers breathe life back into carousel ponies

The community-driven restoration of the Carousel of Smiles, a 1920 Allan Herschell carousel in Sandpoint, Idaho, is progressing as volunteers work on restoring the 36 ponies. Led by Clay and Reno Hutchison, who saved the carousel from auction in 2000, the restoration involves stripping old paint, deconstructing the ponies, wood restoration, primer application, and detailed painting. Over 200 hours are invested in each pony, and the restoration emphasizes preserving the original wood and character. Community members, known as the “Painters of the Lost Arts,” contribute their artistic skills, guided by workshops led by carousel preservationist Bette Largent. The ongoing restoration showcases the collaborative effort to revive this historical treasure.

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The Daily Bee: Trio brings carousel’s center pole back to life

The center pole of the Carousel of Smiles, a 1920 Allan Herschell carousel being restored in Sandpoint, Idaho, underwent refurbishment by three local businesses. Weighing half a ton and serving as the backbone for the carousel, the 18-foot, 10-inch diameter pole received sandblasting and powder coating at Full Circle Powder Coating, structural repair at Selkirk Power Generation, and a fresh coat of red paint at Northwest Autobody. The community-driven restoration aims to revive the carousel’s Golden Age glory, with local businesses volunteering time and resources to support the project. The restored center pole symbolizes the collaborative efforts behind this historical endeavor.

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Featured in Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2019

Check out our featured article “Taking Public Art to the Limit” on page 51 – 54 in the Summer 2019 issue of Sandpoint Magazine.

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Merry-Go-Roundup – Wagner Panels

Merry-Go-Roundup  featured The Carousel of Smiles in its Spring 2019 issue, observing its progress in restoration with the Wagner Panels.

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Sandpoint Reader: The Ponies are back in Town!

The Carousel of Smiles has relocated to Sandpoint at “Cedar Street Station,” formerly Misty Mountain Furniture. Reno Hutchison is enthusiastic about the new space, envisioning a 1920s-style workshop for carving carousel horses. Located at 210 A, Fifth and Cedar streets, the workshop is progressing on the next group of ponies. As part of the Sandpoint Winter Carnival, the Carousel of Smiles will join the Friday Eve Parade with a full-size snow globe featuring “Stormy” and host open houses on Carnival weekends for all to see the ponies in their new stable.

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The Daily Bee: Carousel art reflects Sandpoint community

Spokane’s Looff Carrousel curator, Bette Largent, expresses astonishment at the discovery of the 1920 Allan Herschell Carousel, known as the Carousel of Smiles, by Reno and Clay Hutchison in Sandpoint. Largent, with over 30 years of carousel preservation and painting experience, is contributing to the pony painting portion of the community-led restoration. The wooden bodies of the ponies are meticulously restored by dedicated teams, including the “angels of the carousel” hand-sanding team and the “Godfather Squad” tasked with pony head removal for proper restoration. Local artists, guided by Carousel of Smiles art director Gabe Gabel, contribute to the art panel project, reflecting iconic aspects of the Sandpoint community. The open house showcasing the progress of the restoration drew a large crowd, and the Carousel of Smiles is set to move to Cedar Street Station in Ponderay, offering a public view of the ongoing restoration process.

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Sandpoint Reader: Carousel of Smiles reception this weekend

The Carousel of Smiles team hosted a reception at 113 Main St. in downtown Sandpoint to showcase the initial restoration work on the 1920 carousel. The event spanned from December 14 to December 16, with specific times for each day. Highlights included the unveiling of the first group of painted ponies and art-panel paintings by local artists, celebrating the dedicated volunteers and the revival of Sandpoint’s historic Carousel.

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