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round |  One of the oldest carousels in the world is out of service

round | One of the oldest carousels in the world is out of service

La Ronde just dismissed ‘the world’s oldest running carousel’: It’s decommissioned, the carousel won’t run this summer and the amusement park is starting to think about its future, you’ve learned Journalism.

Made in Belgium in 1885, Le Galopant has been running in circles on Ile Saint Helen since Expo ’67, barring a few years of storage or breakdowns. However, the hand-carved wooden horses may have made it to the last lap, to the chagrin of heritage advocates.

It doesn’t work. “There are a lot of parts that don’t work and every part has to be redesigned by hand, so it’s complicated,” explained Marketing Director Carole Pricolt in a phone interview, and confirmed that the ride will not be active for the season.

For the rest, she added, “we’re going to take stock of all of this, because it’s a lot of maintenance.” “Do we keep it at La Ronde? Do we put it in a museum? We are evaluating all possibilities. It’s one of the oldest carousels in the world, so it must be preserved. How will it be? We don’t know yet.”. »

This isn’t the first time the future of the iconic La Ronde Games has been in the news. In 2017, the amusement park announced the permanent closure of La Pitoune, which dates back to Expo 67. At the end of 2022, the dismantling of the minerail also caused a lot of ink to flow.

On La Ronde’s website, Le Galopant has been removed from the game listing altogether rather than being marked – like the others – as “Temporarily closed”.

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Over the decades, Le Galopant has taken its place in the imaginations of Montrealers. Show credits What family!, in the early 1970s, was filmed there. In 2022, Canada Post will dedicate a stamp to him.

Image provided by Canadian Post

The 2022 stamp features Le Gallopant

‘His future must be secured’

“I find that disturbing,” said Julie Belanger, founder of a group dedicated to the commemoration of Expo 67. “We haven’t learned from past mistakes. Again, Six Flags is very lacking in maintenance.” [propriétaire de La Ronde] To prove that they unfortunately do not show that they live up to the legacy they have been entrusted with. »

MI Belanger favors the return of Vortex to the city of Montreal, which belonged to it until the American company was entrusted with the management of La Ronde.

She added, “Obviously, we understand that nothing is eternal, that rides are getting old,” but the recurring problems with preserving the “most historic” rides are troubling.

“His summer retirement is one thing, but his future has to be secured. After all, it’s a heritage trip with international adventure,” replied Dino Bombaro, of Heritage Montreal.

Photo by Hugo Sebastien Huppert, Los Angeles Press Archives

Director of Policy at Heritage Montreal, Dinu Bumbaru

“While the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau has adopted a master plan with a real heritage element, at La Ronde we are still waiting for a shadow of something equivalent.”

“unique specimen”

Defenders of Montreal’s heritage have stated that they actually starred in a similar film some twenty years ago.

In 2002 Le Galopant was in a very run down state. They were taken apart by Six Flags and stored in crates. “It had become dangerous and no longer met safety standards,” said Anne-Marie Desautel, a spokeswoman for the theme park at the time. duty. “We couldn’t leave it outside anymore because we risked damaging it to the point where it wouldn’t be able to be restored.”

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The same paper cited the opinion of a heritage specialist who studied the carousel on behalf of the Ministry of Culture: Montreal is “the privileged repository of a unique specimen, an authentic representative of the European tradition, which influenced American manufacturers.”

After a pressure campaign, La Ronde finally got Le Galopant back for about a million lives. It reopened in 2007, in time for the 40thH Anniversary of the World’s Fair.