The carousel at Caras Park is one of the attractions that makes Missoula what it is. Bright and fun, with painted steeds that, while wooden, have a soul that makes them more like friends than merely a mount. Each horse even has a name, like Sweet Sue, the black horse with flowers in her mane and on her saddle, who's described as having a gentle nature on the Carousel For Missoula website. There's also Lil' Buck, white and brown with a spunky attitude and a mission to spread joy.

The carousel has been spreading joy since it opened in 1995, though putting it together was no merry go round. according to the Carousel For Missoula's website "over 100,000 hours of volunteer time had gone into the construction of 38 permanent ponies; three replacement ponies; two chariots; 14 gargoyles, gargoyle frames and mirror frames; and the largest band organ in continuous use in the United States, all within a jewel box building," so I'm grateful for everyone who put their time and money to make our carousel a reality, including the school children "that collected over one-million pennies" particularly because that might be the cutest story I've ever read.

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The annual "Ride-A-Thon" fundraiser is this Wednesday, May 24th from 5:30pm to 8pm with bogo ride deals and  chances to win prizes, including a chid's carousel season pass. Funds will be used for the care and maintenance of the ponies according to their website. Not only will this event bring family fun, it's also a chance for you to support this iconic attraction in our community.

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