A Carousel for Missoula will celebrate groundbreaking on its 640 square foot expansion Monday, Nov. 9. A reception for donors and the media will begin at 10am. The public is invited to join the event at 11am.
Special introductions and presentations, including remarks by Governor Steve Bullock, will take place at 11:10am. Governor Bullock will award the Carousel a $100,000 tourism infrastructure grant from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.
“A Carousel for Missoula is a true Montana treasure for locals and visitors alike,” Governor Bullock said ahead of the event. “With this grant, the Carousel will expand to even better serve the people of Missoula who have already enjoyed it for the past 20 years while also attracting more visitors to sustain the local economy through tourism. The state looks forward to being a partner for this exciting next chapter.”
10:15 a.m. – Governor Bullock scheduled to arrive
10:30 a.m. – A brief history by Theresa Cox, executive director
10:45 a.m. – Tour and visit with the wood carvers
11 a.m. – Carousel opens to the public
11:10 a.m. – Remarks by Governor Bullock
A ceremonial groundbreaking will take place immediately following the presentations.
In addition to the tourism infrastructure grant, the Carousel has received grants from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, the Treacy Foundation, The Charles Engelhard Foundation, First Interstate Bank/First Interstate Bank Foundation, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Gallagher Western Montana Charitable Foundation, Inc. Representatives from several of these agencies will attend and participate in the ceremony.
Other donors of large amounts include Penny Oncken, Terry Payne, Michael and Kimberly Roth, Roemer’s Tire Factory, Baskin Robbins, Brenda Wilkins, Friends of Parks, Garlington, Lohn & Robinson, PLLP, and Paul and Chris Kilzer.
The expansion will house a museum, to tell the history of the Carousel and Dragon Hollow; a workshop for the volunteers who are so essential to the continued success of the Carousel; and an office to replace the one that will be displaced by remodeling within the existing building. The expansion, like the original building, was designed by Jay Kirby. Hall Building Services has been chosen as the contractor for the project.
A Carousel for Missoula has been a resident and tourist favorite since it opened in 1995. According to Travelocity, Yelp, and local newspaper polls it is Missoula’s number one tourism destination. The Carousel building, designed for warm weather use, has never been adequate for the heavy, year-round use it receives. In addition to the new construction, remodeling within the current building will create a new, enclosed party room; double the size of the gift shop; and add significant storage.
The planned addition, remodeling and repairs will allow the Carousel staff and volunteers to better serve the public, and will help ensure its success for another twenty years, and beyond.