Ochusjob, Chiapas, Chariot 1982 photo by Antonio Turok


Projects ยป PTWBF

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

The carousel being prepared for this September's 2017 PTWBF will be a classic wooden centerpole mechanism with a full menagerie of animals, 5 swing seats , a swan chariot and the ring catching game. It will be rope-pull powered such as carousels for hundreds of years long ago. This carousel soon to set out on a long journey, to Chiapas, Mexico as soon at the fund raising campaign finishes. It will be the first major component of a local carousel workshop and village carousel training and construction program on a private school campus. More news will be shared here and on this site's "News" link at bottom of page as this program gains altitude.

Several different carousels were operated at the annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival between 1994 and 2016. The earlier years saw versions of the wooden centerpole style Carousel of the Olympic Sea being operated by the same high school and elementary school students that helped build and paint it. These early models were human powered with a rope-pull, hand-crank or foot-pedal mechaniam. Beginning in 2012 the hand-crank/electric portable steel frame trailer carousel was used at the festival. The ring dispenser and clownface target are always an important part of the complete ride picture; an integral part of carousel-type-ride's long history going back to the Middle East a thousand years ago.

Early on we charged for rides, thinking this to be the reasonable way to be paid for this operation. Unfortunately, at a dollar per ride, most kids (or parents) were't able to pay for more than one or two rides. The problem was that after one or two rides the kids realized they really liked the little carousel and wanted to ride a lot more, play the ring catching game, even take a turn at cranking it. But this ride ticket system never could earn us enough money to justify all of the  building, set-up and operation time for the crew.

We had to figure out a way to make this fun experience happen smoother for everybody instead of dealing with little kids and their money. Then the idea of getting carousel-event sponsors came from an elderly carousel and children's advocate. Plan being; reach out, get ten carousel loving adults to each put up $100 sponsorships (or $25 each in groups of 4) then we don't have to charge for rides. Free rides all day, for children and adults...but you must dismount your animal at the end of each ride and get back in line again for the next ride.

With this new sponsorship plan ridership increased dramaticly. We were full of riders, operators and ring dispenser refillers all day long every day. The kids did a great job of using and managing the ride (with adult supervision of course). With the ring game a wider age range, especially boys, stayed longer riding the carousel. Below is a list of the sponsors who helped make this ride "free for all" system possible the last five years.

Thank you so much to these sponsors:

1. Mary Wilson
2. Jean Baldwin & Jim Quarles
3. Carla Main & Brad West
4. Elevated Ice Cream Store
5. Mary Jo Mackenzie & Brad Jensen
6. The Wooden Boat Foundation

1. Christopher Dentzel, S.B. CA
2. Three Chords and the Truth, Honky-Tonk Band, P.T. WA
3. Bill and Kathy Quinn, National Carousel Association
4. Al and Megan Bergstein, P.T. WA
5. 1st Friday iPod Shuffle Dance, P.T. WA
6. Zaryn Dentzel, Madrid, Spain
7. Bob Pittenger, P.T. WA
8. Mary Wilson, P.T. WA
9. Dean Lebens, P.T. WA
10. Noreen and Jim McCarron, P.T. WA
11. The Wooden Boat Foundation

1. 1st Friday iPod Shuffle Group, at the Quimper Grange
2. Carla Main & Brad West, Port Townsend
3. Elevated Ice Cream Store, Port Townsend
4. Maribeth and Bruce Cannavaro, Port Townsend
5. Zaryn - Sophia - Noah Dentzel, Port Townsend
6. Al and Megan Bernstein, Port Townsend
7. Kathy and Bill Quinn, National Carousel Association
8. RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend
9. Unity, Port Townsend
10. Anonymous and Larry Dennison, Port Townsend
11. The Wooden Boat Foundation

1. World's End, fun store downtown P.T.
2. RoseWind CoHousing Group 1, Port Townsend
3. RoseWind CoHousing Group 2, Port Townsend
4. Anonymous from NY + Dana Cody & Brian Puziss Group
5. Elevated Ice Cream, Port Townsend
6. Anonymous from P.T.
7. Carla Main & Brad West
8. Marion W. "Oma" & Z.A. Dentzel
9. Dr. Clark Sturdivant, DDS, P.T.
10.Lyn Hersey, John L. Scott Realty, P.T.
11. The Wooden Boat Foundation

Special mention for logistical support: Doug Warren and Bob Pittenger
(couldn't find 2012 sponsor list)

Photo gallery of past festival operatiions coming here soon.