There's a giant merry-go-round in the middle of Mansfield, Ohio. Although in this town, self-proclaimed carousel capital of Ohio, it's called a carrousel. The Richland Carrousel Park opened in 1991 and houses the first new, hand-carved carrousel to be built and operated in the United States in more than 80 years. And it was built just down the road at Mansfield's own Carrousel Works.
Even though it's only a couple of decades old, the carrousel looks like a classic storybook creation, decorated with a whimsical menagerie of 52 creatures. Look for charming details like the baby monkey napping on the giraffe's back or the horse with a mermaid's tale. The carrousel is purposefully (and perfectly) reminiscent of G.A. Dentzel, one of the most celebrated carvers of the early 1900s, but the picture panels at the top of carrousel depicting familiar scenes from Mansfield give it a modern twist. A Stinson Band Organ provides a traditional soundtrack.
The carrousel is under a heated pavilion and is open to the public year-round, although hours vary seasonally (check the website before you visit). Admission to the park is free, but rides are $1 (you can get six rides for $5 or 50 for $35). Unless you've really got a thing for carrousels, you won't need to spend much more than a half-hour at the Richland Carrousel Park.