Carousel of Aloha

Paradise Ponies, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, intends to construct and operate a unique Hawaii-themed carousel, called the “Carousel of Aloha,” along the Volcano Heritage Corridor on Hawai’i, the Big Island.

Paradise Ponies will offer a series of carousel-figure carving classes for artists who want to be part of the community project. The first class will be held Feb. 24-26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Shipman Business Park in Keaau. Master carousel carver Ken Means of Oregon, will teach the foundation of creating a carousel figure: starting from a drawing, to a pattern, and then creating the “blank”. A carousel blank is the block of wood made from laminated boards that become the palette for the carver. The class cost is $300 with possible discounts.

“This class is the first in a series we will hold to get people excited and involved,” said project coordinator Katherine Patton. “Ultimately, the Carousel of Aloha will be the focal point of a bigger park and pavilion that will serve our community and bring everyone together,” she said.

The Carousel of Aloha will feature hand-carved Hawaii-themed menagerie figures like a monk seal, a green sea turtle, pa`u style horses and a “nightingale,” (the coffee-bean toting donkeys once used on coffee plantations island-wide). It will feature seating benches, scenic panels, mirrors and other colorful carousel amenities carved and painted by volunteer artisans throughout Hawaii. An expansive pavilion will house the carousel, gift shop and other indoor spaces available to the community for art and cultural activities, recreation and entertainment. An adjacent park will add outdoor space for cultural events, and activities for families, residents and visitors to the east side of Hawaii Island.

Volunteers, donations, corporate sponsors and major benefactors are needed. For information on classes or how to help, go to website or contact Katherine Patton at 808-315-1093.

An informational display, including carousel figures in progress, is shown at the Hilo Coffee Mill in Mountain View every Saturday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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