Attention children and the youthful-at-heart alike! The grand yet whimsical LeRoy King Carousel at the Children’s Creativity Museum is celebrating the onset of the holiday season Saturday, Nov. 27 with a Lighting Ceremony from 4:30-6:30 pm. Wear your face mask and come prepared for the carousel rides and other surprises…and that’s all we’ll disclose here about that! You’ll have to swing by to find out the particulars. And, of course, to admire the masterpiece that is the LeRoy King Carousel, a jewel not only for its fanciful craftsmanship but also for its rich history.
The carousel, with its hand-carved leaping horses (sporting tails of real steeds), gallivanting dragons, and bejeweled camels that glide with buoyant ease around and ’round to the thrilling Vaudevillian swells of organ band music, was completed in Rhode Island by a master carver named Charles I.D. Looff in 1906. What perfect timing for this magnificent amusement ride; had it been finished any earlier and sent to ‘Friso, it likely would have perished in the 1906 Earthquake that leveled 28,000 buildings and claimed the lives of 3,000 people. Diverted by the ensuing damage to the city, the carousel was stationed for a time up in Seattle before it was returned to its initially intended destination: ‘The City By the Bay,’ in 1913.
In the years since, the ride has taken on even more historical significance.
In 2014, it was renamed in honor of LeRoy King, a distinguished civil rights advocate and civil servant who was appointed to the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission in 1980 by then mayor Dianne Feinstein.
For three decades on the commission, King fought tirelessly for equality, affordable housing, workers’ rights, and for the cultural preservation of the African American and Japanese American communities in the city.
Come by the LeRoy King Carousel Saturday evening and celebrate this jubilant marvel and its amazing history at this festive event that promises fun for the whole family.