Carol Ann's Carousel is Now OPEN!

(The carousel is closed annually January 25 - February 10 for maintenance & care)

Opening Spring, 2015

A Gift from Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U. S. Bank Foundation

It’s All About YOU, Cincinnati!

The figures on the carousel will represent many areas of life, history and culture in the Greater Cincinnati area. The figures themselves along with their trappings will reflect river life, sports, Cincinnati cuisine, iconic places, transportation, history, business, the arts, the seasons and folklore.

Beginning in May, 2014, a new carousel character will be introduced every week right here! BOOKMARK this page and be the first to meet each new figure!

Get to Know Carol Ann’s Carousel!

  • The carousel will be built at the foot of Vine Street on a tree-lined plaza filled with water features.
  • The carousel will be 46’ in diameter and 20’ tall, contained in a glass building which will be 70’ x 90’
  • There will be three rows of animals/characters on the carousel platform for a total of 44 characters.
  • The choices of characters were made by the park design team, based on the input of citizens!
  • The carousel will operate year-round.
  • Glass doors will allow for easy access into the carousel building and will bring the outside, in, on good weather days.
  • A local artist, Jonathan Queen, will paint Cincinnati scenes on the carousel.
  • The carving and painting of the animals/characters and the creation and installation of the carousel will be done by Carousel Works of Mansfield, Ohio, the world’s largest maker of wooden carousels.
  • There will be a nominal cost to ride the carousel.
  • The carousel and plaza will also have a floor below it that will feature a banquet/conference center
  • The carousel will be available for private rentals for birthday parties, weddings and both corporate/civic and family functions.
  • The carousel, its carved figures, paintings, lights, and its installation will cost $1 million. The building containing it will cost $4.5 million.
  • The entire complex of the carousel, Anderson Pavilion, plazas, water features, comfort station and Vine Street Steps/Cascades are privately funded.

The carousel is named for Carol Ann Haile, who, along with her husband Ralph, had a passion and commitment for communities on both banks of the Ohio River. Together, they had the desire to advance the quality of life for the Greater Cincinnati region.

In May of 2013, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation announced that the foundation was making a $5 million gift to fund the construction of the new carousel in Smale Riverfront Park. “This carousel is a gift to the Cincinnati Parks Foundation honoring the life and philanthropy of Carol Ann Haile,” said Tim Maloney. “The sparkle, whimsy and pure fun this carousel will provide is a direct reflection of Carol’s sparking personality.”

The Foundation’s efforts and resources are concentrated in areas about which Carol and Ralph were most passionate: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Education, and Human Services.

In 2013, the Cincinnati Parks Foundation received a generous gift from the Anderson Foundation to underwrite the Annie W. & Elizabeth M. Anderson Pavilion in Smale Riverfront Park. The Pavilion, located at street level underneath the Carousel, will offer a 350+ seat conference facility. As part of this gift, the Longworth Room and Mendenhall Room will be established in honor of the donors.

Elizabeth Mendenhall Anderson and her sister, Annie Wallingford Anderson, descendants of Nicholas Longworth, were longtime Cincinnati philanthropists who supported numerous area charities throughout their lives, including the Krohn Conservatory and the Cincinnati Zoo. The Anderson Foundation, established in the late 1990s, works to support many of the charitable causes the sisters championed during their lifetimes.