Historic Grand Carousel and Derby Racer Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at Playland
After being closed to the public for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Playland Park in Rye is officially reopening for the 2021 season on Saturday, June 26 at noon. Patrons are welcomed back for rides, entertainment, food and fun from Opening Day through Labor Day; Wednesday through Sunday, and Mondays July 5 and September 6. For the season’s full schedule go to PlaylandPark.org or call the park at (914) 813-7000.
The celebration begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the historic Grand Carousel and Derby Racer, where the horses are finally riding again. Joyful children will hop onto the completely restored historic wooden horses and join Westchester County Executive George Latimer for the first ride on the Grand Carousel at Playland Park in four years.
Latimer said: “I was devastated by the news of the carousel fire in 2017 – the historic carousel is one of the crown jewels of the park. Since I came into office we have worked hard to restore the ride to its original splendor, and this is another example of motivated County government at work. The employees at Playland have done a fantastic job readying the park for the 2021 season, and I look forward to hearing the roar of the Dragon Coaster coupled with laughter under the warm sunshine this summer.”
The 106-year-old Mangels-Carmel carousel, originally built for an amusement park in Connecticut, has been a staple at Playland Park since it opened in 1928. Flames, smoke and water caused significant damage to the roof and 66 hand-carved horses in 2017.
Across the Great Lawn lies the Derby Racer, the Grand Carousel’s rougher, faster big brother – one of only three steeple chase rides still in existence. Built in 1927 for Playland by Prior & Church, the horses move back and forth as well as up and down, simulating a true gallop as it races around the track.
Commissioner of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation Kathy O’Connor said: “We are elated with the restoration of the Carousel and Derby Racer, two of our original, classic rides, as we open Playland for the 2021 season.”
Playland Park is welcoming back visitors at a lower admission price this season. Rider wristbands are $20, and Junior Rider wristbands are $15, per person. Spectator wristbands are free for Westchester County residents (proof of residency required) and $10 for non-residents. Parking is $10 per car.
New this year, save time – buy online. Make your Playland visit a seamless experience this season by purchasing wristbands online ahead of time the day of your visit. Visitors who have not been fully vaccinated are responsible for wearing masks.
The 93-year old park is currently undergoing an over $100 million historic reconstruction including the pool, towers at all three entrances and cross axis, administration and adjoining buildings, main and cross axis restrooms, and switch gear. Additional reconstruction around the Fountain Plaza and the Park will begin in September.
Beginning this Saturday, June 26, enjoy music on the beach from Playland's DJ, every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.