Photo by Richard Walker

The Empire State Carousel is a beautiful example of a traditional country fair ride. Called “the museum you can ride,” it has 25 hand-carved animals representing the agricultural and natural resources found in New York State, and chariot rides of a scallop shell (the State shellfish), an Erie Canal boat, and an original lover’s tub.

Folklore panels and other carved elements depict Uncle Sam and Deerslayer. Portrait panels of such notable figures as Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt, Grandma Moses and Jackie Robinson enhance the rounding boards.

Eight-foot curved murals depict moments in New York history, from the arrival of the Half Moon to the construction of Levittown. The hand-carved frames around the mirrors depict 11 different regions of New York, and carved place-names highlight towns all over the state. Even the sweeps of the carousel feature over 300 feet of hand stencils of the bluebird, rose, apple, sugar maple leaf and state map!

First conceived in 1982, it opened at The Farmers’ Museum on Memorial Day 2006 and represents voluntary artistic contributions by over 1,000 New Yorkers. Housed in a twelve-sided building, the Empire State Carousel is open during museum hours.