It is a cause for celebration.
After being closed to the public for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Playland Park in Rye is officially reopening for the 2021 season on Saturday, June 26th at noon. Rye Guy and County Boss George Latimer was the master of ceremonies at a media preview day Friday to show off the park.
The celebration began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the historic Grand Carousel and Derby Racer, where the horses are finally riding again. The Grand Carousel was destroyed by a fire in 2017.
The 106-year-old Mangels-Carmel carousel, originally built for an amusement park in Connecticut, has been a staple at Playland Park since it opened in 1928. Latimer said: “Since I came into office we have worked hard to restore the ride to its original splendor, and this is another example of motivated County government at work.”
A handful of lucky kids hopped onto the completely restored historic wooden horses, and joined Latimer and his wife Robin for the first ride on the Grand Carousel at Playland Park in four years.
Across the Great Lawn lies the Derby Racer, the Grand Carousel’s rougher, faster big brother – one of only three steeple chase rides still in existence. Built in 1927 for Playland by Prior & Church, the horses move back and forth as well as up and down, simulating a true gallop as it races around the track.
Playland Park is welcoming back visitors at a lower admission price this season. Rider wristbands are $20, and Junior Rider wristbands are $15, per person. Spectator wristbands are free for Westchester County residents (proof of residency required) and $10 for non-residents. Parking is $10 per car. The park is open from Saturday, June 26 through Labor Day; Wednesday through Sunday, and Mondays July 5 and September 6.
The 93-year old park is currently undergoing an over $100 million historic reconstruction including the pool, towers at all three entrances and cross axis, administration and adjoining buildings, main and cross axis restrooms, and switch gear. Additional reconstruction around the Fountain Plaza and the Park will begin in September.