Glen Echo’s Popular Dentzel Carousel Closing For Repairs

Glen Echo Park’s most treasured attraction is due for repairs and will close for the remainder of the season on June 30.

The Dentzel Carousel was restored throughout the years of 1983 to 2003, but its housing and a couple of other structures are now due for an update.

The multi-colored building the carousel sits in needs to be replaced, the fire suppression system needs to be updated, and the band organ room needs to be rebuilt, according to Executive Director Katey Boerner of Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture. “It’s a wonderful investment,” Boerner told MCM.

The renovations are expected to take six to nine months. The carousel is expected to reopen around May 2020, in time for the 100th anniversary in 2021.

“We are really excited to have the funding in place for this important work. The National Park Service has led the project funding and been joined by Montgomery County and the State of Maryland in a collaborative effort. I think everyone realizes the value and importance of this carousel and wants this work completed before the 100-year anniversary in 2021,” said Boerner.

The Dentzel Carousel is the park’s centerpiece. Annually, it attracts about 50,000 riders, but, due to the renovation, about 30,000 visitors will miss out on this historic sight and experience this year, according to Bethesda Magazine.

June was the start of the annual Summer Concerts at Glen Echo Park. Every Thursday until August 29, the park hosts various groups each week in the Bumper Car Pavilion for free. During the concerts, the carousel also reopens its doors for a nighttime ride. The last time the carousel will be open for the concert is June 27.

“(We’re) absolutely thrilled that the project is happening. It’s unfortunate to lose part of the season but there’s no other way around it,” said Boerner.

Dentzel Carousel Brief History

Back in the early 1900s, Glen Echo Park was an amusement park. The Dentzel Carousel was built inside the 12-sided multi-colored canopy building by its previous owners by Dentzel Carousel Company, in 1921. The carousel holds up to 40 horses and other animals that move around to the sound of the Wurlitzer band organ.

Glen Echo Amusement Park came to an end in 1968. When the park closed, all of its rides were sold, including the carousel.

However, Glen Echo Town Councilmember Nancy Long could not stand by it. Long organized a fundraiser to buy back the carousel. Local residents contributed by raising $80,000 and an extra $10,000 to buy back the Wurlitzer organ. Both were then donated to The National Park Service and was kept in its Glen Echo location since.

  • 1925 Glen Echo Dentzel Carousel (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

  • 1925 Glen Echo Dentzel Carousel (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Frances Moyonero

About Frances Moyonero

Frances Moyonero is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. She was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, but she has expanded her horizons within and outside the U.S. She can be reached at fmoyonero@mymcmedia.org or via twitter @Franny_Moyonero.

Comments

2 Responses to “Glen Echo’s Popular Dentzel Carousel Closing For Repairs”

  1. Avatar
    On June 21, 2019 at 7:08 am responded with... #

    What’s with the Hola Montgomery serving the Latino Community?? mymcmedia doesn’t serve everyone in MC? I’m really fed up with this and ready to block you. It’s racist!!!

  2. Avatar
    On June 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm responded with... #

    I actually rode the carousel on my 32th birthday this year.

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