Lanesborough to be home to Berkshire Carousel
LANESBOROUGH -- The town of Lanesborough will be the official home of the Berkshire Carousel and its 36 hand-crafted horses next spring.
An announcement in the form of a "Carouselabration" -- will be held Saturday at the old drive in from noon to 5 p.m.
For about five years, 300 volunteers have worked to bring the carousel to life. The Berkshire Mall, just on the Lanesborough town line, has housed construction and design in one of its vacant stores for the past two years.
The Berkshire Carousel is the largest moving-art project in Massachusetts, and Lanesborough selectmen have been fully supportive of the project, according to the Berkshire Carousel Director Maria Caccaviello.
"The most support came out of Lanesborough. It's more than money, it always has been," she said. "They understood what the project was about. We've gotten so many volunteers and support out of Lanesborough."
Selectman Bill Prendegrast used words like "fabulous" and "wonderful" to describe the carousel project.
"It's a good thing for everybody," Prendegrast also said. "Pittsfield is kind of known as the center of the Berkshires, so to have a little something like [the Berkshire Carousel] in Lanesborough will be nice," Prendegrast also said.
The support through the construction is what gave Lanesborough the upper hand over the city of Pittsfield, despite city officials showing total support of the process throughout.
Over the summer, Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi offered a $250,000 grant to have the carousel end up in his city after completion.
"Obviously we were hoping for a different outcome, but we wish [the town of Lanes borough] the best," Bianchi said. "I know a lot of people in Pittsfield are going to be disappointed. Maybe in the future Pittsfield will be able to have it."
The carousel will utilize 33 of 36 sculpted horses, setting back the other three for spares. All of the horses are different.
For those more prone to motion sickness, there will also be three stationary chariots also available. There will be 14 boards on the inner part of the carousel painted with scenery inspired by the Berkshires. Another 14 will be portraits of the families that contributed the most during the carousel's creation, be it with funding or housing some construction before the mall space became available.
"This has really been an entire Berkshire County effort," Caccaviello said. "Many people in the Berkshires helped bring it to this phase."
Funding is now needed to afford the mechanism that will, literally, put the carousel into motion next spring. The mechanism is $350,000, but $167,000 has been raised. Then, a place to operate the carousel from will be decided.
"Obviously, the mall is the front-runner," Caccaviello said. "It always has been."
All construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year in time to operate the carousel next spring.
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