DALTON -- The long-awaited Berkshire Carousel should be entertaining children of all ages this summer.

Organizers expect volunteers to operate the carousel June 21 through Oct. 15, the number of days and hours yet to be determined. The attraction will be housed in a temporary tent-like structure on the grounds of the former Crane stationery factory in Dalton.

Carousel Director Maria Caccaviello said on Tuesday debuting the amusement ride before a permanent structure is built will help raise the $1.6 million needed to erect the year-round facility. Construction of the stand-alone building should start this summer.

"There's no sense storing it away," she said. "This way people can see it, enjoy it and we'll generate some money, too."

Meanwhile, a capital campaign committee has begun soliciting donations from Dalton residents and businesses as part of a fundraising effort soon to expand countywide and beyond.

"While the carousel is in Dalton, from the get-go we've underscored this is a Berkshire project," said Tom Callahan, a campaign leader.

Eight years in the making, Berkshire Carousel will feature 33 hand-carved and painted wooden horses, 14 rounding boards, two chariots and a donkey. They will be mounted on an 85-year-old carousel frame and mechanism being refurbished in Ohio. Organizers expect the frame to arrive next month, be given a decorative paint job before the carousel is assembled in time for opening day Donations totaling $1 million already have paid for the amusement ride itself.


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To reach Dick Lindsay:

rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,

or (413) 496-6233