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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