Feel on top of the world during Founders' Week, June 19-26
It’s time for our annual celebration of the two men who created hours of fun for millions of visitors to St. Joseph, Michigan between 1891 and 1971. Logan Drake and Louis Wallace built the Silver Beach Amusement Park just down the road from the Carousel. Children and adults had the thrill of being on top of the world on the Big Eli Ferris Wheel, whirling on the carousel, roaring (and screaming) down the roller coaster track and winning prizes on the midway.
We have a full week of happy times planned ... hope to see you every day!
Mon.-Sat.: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sun.: noon-10 p.m.
All Week: Enter Our “Magical Memories” Coloring Contest
Children can color “Sanibel,” our hippocampus (a mythological horse of the sea) and enter our drawing to win prizes in each of three age categories: 2-5 years, 6-9 years and 10-13 years. First prize: Magical Memories Coupon Book filled with $35 worth of Carousel fun; second prize: 5 ride tokens, plus a coupon for popcorn and cotton candy; and third prize: 3 ride tokens and a coupon for popcorn and cotton candy. To enter, give your completed coloring sheet to the clerk in our gift shop. Last day to enter is Sunday, June 26 at 10 p.m.
We’ll contact the 9 winners on Monday, June 27 and announce the names on Facebook.
Sunday, June 19: Best Dad in the World Day. Bring your dad or grandpa to the Carousel and treat him to a ride on his favorite figure. Watch the model train or amusement park model together, play a game of checkers and buy him a bag of popcorn or cotton candy. It’s his day, so make sure he gets a few minutes to relax in one of our rocking chairs, too!
Monday, June 20: Best Senior Citizens in the World Day. We love when senior citizens visit the Carousel. Come share your memories of Silver Beach Amusement Park. See our park memorabilia. Bring your friends or favorite kids for a ride – there are 48 hand-carved figures and two chariots to pick from.
All day: One FREE Carousel ride to anyone who has celebrated 65 or more birthdays.
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: FREE popcorn for all ages
Tuesday, June 21: Best Kids in the World Day. Help your children feel on top of the world by treating them to rides and “together” time at the Carousel.
All day: HALF-OFF Carousel rides (only $1) for children ages 0 to 16 years old.
Noon-10 p.m.: Hourly plush animal giveaways. We’ll hold a drawing every hour for a cute plush puppy or kitty (you must be present to claim your prize). It’s our way of encouraging families to participate in the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan’s Second Annual Pup 5K Run/Walk on June 25. We’ll accept donations for the Humane Society all day at the concession stand, too.
All day: Pinwheel Prize Rides. Throughout the day we’ll randomly give away pinwheels shaped like Silver Beach Amusement Park’s Big Eli Ferris Wheel while supplies last. Similar to musical chairs, if the Carousel figure or chariot your child is on stops closest to the volunteer holding up the pinwheel, your child wins it! Take the pinwheel on the Carousel for another ride and watch it spin as the Carousel whirls round and round. (Please share your photos with us on our Facebook page!).
Wednesday, June 22: Best Beaches in the World Day. Parents Magazine named Silver Beach one of the top 10 family beaches in America ... but we think it’s the best in the world! Come see what fun you can have on all of our nearby sandy public beaches: Silver Beach, Lions Park, Tiscornia and Jean Klock.
11 a.m.-10 p.m.: Beach Ball Bounce.Wear your swim suits and bring your beach balls and Frisbees (towels, too) to the free Whirlpool Compass Fountain, across the street from the Carousel. There’s lots of grassy space to play or picnic on as well. Stop by the Carousel’s concession stand to get your snacks. We’ll have bags of fresh popcorn and cotton candy, drinks and our new, cool and refreshing Dippin’ Dots ice cream pouches. Plus there are clean restrooms and your favorite Carousel figures to ride.
Forgot your beach ball? You can get one (plus many more fun toys) in The Brass Ring Gift Shop.
Thursday, June 23: Best Throwback Thursday in the World Day. Spend the day doing good ol’ fashioned fun. See the Big Eli snail sculpture created by Carousel Operator Ken just outside our Broad Street doors. (It depicts the Big Eli Ferris Wheel that once operated at Silver Beach Amusement Park). Come inside and ride the Carousel. Check out the photographs on the 18 rounding boards above the Carousel that tell stories of our area’s past. See the wool (yes, wool!) bathing suit and other amusement park treasures on display. Play checkers, corn hole, hula hoop and other games. Color our sheets or make sidewalk chalk drawings outside. (Anyone for a game of hopscotch?) We’ll randomly give away free popcorn, cotton candy and ride tokens throughout the day.
All day: Throwback Thursday Photo Contest. Post old photographs of you or family members enjoying Silver Beach Amusement Park, the North Pier lighthouse or Silver Beach on Facebook.com/silverbeachcarousel. We’ll enter you in a drawing on Friday, June 24, for one of five $10 gift certificates for our concession stand. Winners will be announced on our Facebook page Friday at noon.
10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Watch the Sand Pirate make fabulous sand sculptures outside on the Shadowland Ballroom’s patio (near the Broad Street entrance to Silver Beach Center). She’ll salute the Beach Bugs sculptures – a must-see outdoor art exhibit in downtown St. Joseph. While you’re watching, ask the Sand Pirate for tips and ideas on how to make your own creations at our local beaches.
Friday, June 24: Best Heroes in the World Day. Today we’ll pay tribute to all of the U.S. military men, women and animals that bravely served or died for our country. It’s our part of the Lest We Forget Celebration, June 24-26, held in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph and South Bend, IN. Veterans: you always ride free when you show the Carousel operator your military ID.
Noon-1 p.m.: Mermaid visit. Some very special mermaids and cast members will stop by the Carousel. They’re in tomorrow night’s performance of Disney's The Little Mermaid at the Silver Beach Shadowland Pavilion. Have your cameras and autograph books ready!
Saturday, June 25: Favorite Little Mermaid in the World Day. Bring your princes and princesses for an unforgettable day at the Carousel!
All day: One Free Carousel ride to anyone wearing a character costume.
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: See the Live Statue performance. Try and catch this award-winning artist winking or changing positions. You’ll definitely want to take selfies with the “statue” to wow your friends.
12-6 p.m.: Mermaid giveaways. Every hour we’ll raffle off two mermaid key chains. Go to the Carousel concession stand to enter. To get your prize, you’ll need to be here when we call your name.2-4 p.m.: Face painting by Jenni Bush and Gina Newsum. Become a walking masterpiece. Ask them to paint your favorite under-the-sea animal and wear it to the show!
7:30 p.m.: Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra stage production directed by local favorite, Paul Mow, is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fairytale and Disney’s animated film. Treat the whole family to the magic of live theater performed on the shore of Lake Michigan at the Silver Beach Shadowland Pavilion (just down the street from the Carousel). You’ll go home singing all of your favorite songs: “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” Tickets are available online or at the gate.
Sunday, June 26: The Happiest Music in the World Day. We’ll close out Founders’ Week on a very happy note. Come listen to our antique band organ (it’s 105 years old!) play its upbeat tunes (hey, our horses love to rock to The Beach Boys).
3:30 and 7:30 p.m.: St. Joseph Municipal Bank Concerts. Bring the whole family to hear longtime Director Dr. Don Moely “strike up the band” at the John E.N. Howard band shell along the bluff in downtown St. Joseph. You’ll have a fantastic view of the boats going up and down the St. Joseph River as well as our newly renovated North Pier lighthouses. You can easily walk back to the Carousel for one more ride in honor of our founders, Logan and Louis!
This is just the start of the fun we’re planning this summer at the Carousel. For updates on Founders’ Week and other events, follow us on Facebook.