Eye on Monday: The Carousel

Last week I had the opportunity to go down to Wahpeton, North Dakota and visit the Chahinkapa Zoo.  Directly across from the zoo sits the Prairie Rose Carousel.  Built in 1926, it is one of the original 150 wooden horse carousels that still operate throughout the United States.  One ride on it, with my younger daughter Cadence, was magical.

She didn’t want to sit on a horse so we sat down on the bench seat and enjoyed the ride with the period music that played so beautifully.  I found myself transported to another era; one of simple things, a slower pace and the feeling I was in the middle of a beautiful park on a pleasant summer day in the first half of the 20th century.

It’s often moments like these that become the ones most cherished years down the road.  Here I thought I was simply sitting down with my daughter for a brief two minute ride on a carousel.  Instead, it was a frozen moment in time where nothing else in the world mattered but the smile on the face of a beautiful three-year-old and her daddy who didn’t want the carousel to stop.

Filed Under: Christopher GabrielNorth Dakota

About the Author: Christopher serves up sports on 940 ESPN Radio in Fresno with a good deal of pop culture, films, music and the quirky side of life mixed in. Distinguished guests and contributors from across the nation and around the world regularly join the program. He tackles the most complex stories to ones slightly off the radar delivering depth and humor with a thoughtful perspective. When he was in Fargo, the city not the movie, the program was nominated for Best Radio Show in the Red River Valley in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by readers of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. As a writer, Christopher's work has been been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sun-Times Network publications, Reuters, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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  1. Spicoli says:

    My family and I also enjoy the Carousel in Wahpeton. It really is beautiful. It is the nicest carousel I have ever seen. The people who worked to restore it did a wonderful job.

    Not sure if you have ever been, but if your daughters enjoy reading nursery rhymes, may I suggest a trip to Aberdeen SD to Storybook Land. My 5 year old daughter absolutely loved it. When we went my other daughter was only one, so she didn’t get as much enjoyment out of it, but it truly is a must see for kids(of all ages).


  2. Drake says:

    Awesome! I love the top picture, Cadence is so adorable (:
    Come visit again soon, we definitely don’t see enough of you guys!


  3. Moon Dog says:

    We’ve taken our 3 year old there a couple times. It is a very cool thing to see. Wahpeton is for the most part a little hidden gem for things like this. I suggest some ice skating on the pond and having some hot chocolate in the little warming house in Chahinkapa Park this winter too. There’s a hill down there for sledding too!


  4. terri says:

    Love this… Life’s precious moments. I’m glad you grabbed onto those beautiful couple of minutes with your daughter. You’ll never forget them.


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