You can take your ospreys and pinkletinks, your snowdrops, too. Nature is not the only harbinger of spring. Bring on the horses — The Flying Horses.
On Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m. the nation’s oldest platform carousel opens for its 138th season.
The horses were originally built on Coney Island in 1884 by Charles Dare and then shipped to the Vineyard. The Preservation Trust bought the Flying Horses in 1986 assuring that for generations to come children (and their parents) will be able reach for the brass ring.
Stepping into the Flying Horse feels like a journey back in time. The carousel music comes from a 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ and with eyes closed the dads might be wearing hats, the mom’s swaying in hoop skirts and the kids all abuzz while on a short vacation from being seen but not heard.
The clothes may be different today, but the scene remains remarkably the same. Popcorn and cotton candy help add fuel to the day, but adrenalin still rules the ride. Reaching out to grab one, two, three, did that guy really nab five rings at once? is an annual rite of passage and a public one at that.
May the fingers be nimble and the arms long and true. Just be sure to keep one hand on the horse at all times.
The Flying Horses are open tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. the Easter Bunny visits the carousel.