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Celebrate Founders’ Week, June 24-28, at Silver Beach Carousel

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“Come out, come out, wherever you are” to Silver Beach Carousel Founders’ Week Celebration, June 24-28, in St. Joseph, Michigan. Enter the Carousel’s Emerald City and discover a new Wizard of Oz theme each day, whirling with fun activities and free giveaways. Visit for all the memory-making details.

Celebrate Founders’ Week, June 24-28, at Silver Beach Carousel in St. Joseph, MI


Join the Silver Beach Carousel’s Founders’ Week festivities for all ages from June 24-28. This fun-filled week commemorates the 1891 founding of Silver Beach Amusement Park, home of the original Silver Beach Carousel.

“We always want to honor where we came from and how Silver Beach earned its name,” said Suz Schalon, president of the Silver Beach Carousel Society.
“Our visitors enjoy viewing the old wool bathing suits and pictures of the earliest attractions and displays of memorabilia from the park. We also have a display with two original Carousel horses, one restored and one showing its original carving and jewels.”

The Carousel House decor this summer is the Wizard of Oz Emerald City. During Founders’ Week, each daily theme pays tribute to the original local wizards, Louis Wallace and Logan Drake, who founded the amusement park which thrilled generations of visitors until its closing in 1971. Their legacy of making happy memories continues with these events:

Monday, June 24: Seniors’ “Yellow Brick Road” Day, noon to 5:00 p.m.

Seniors 60+ can enter an hourly drawing for a vintage-themed candle and purchase tokens with a buy-one/get-one discount (limit two per person). Share your memories of attending the park with your family and listen to free 15-minute talks about the park’s history. An original piece of the Shadowland Ballroom dance floor and other memorabilia are in the Brass Ring Gift Shop. There are also available for purchase a one-hour DVD documentary titled “A Legacy of Memories: Silver Beach Amusement Park,” created by WNIT TV and “Silver Sands, Golden Memories,” written by Daryl Schlender. 

Tuesday, June 25: Kiddies’ “Munchkins Day,” noon to 5:00 p.m.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are” for delightful Carousel rides and fun activities indoors and outdoors. Choose from 48 magnificent, hand-carved figures and two chariots (one is wheelchair accessible so everyone can ride). Tokens are half-price today ($2 each, limit two per adult). Kids ages 3-12 can enter the hourly drawings for large, colorful Munchkin lollipops. 

Wednesday, June 26: Emerald City Express Day, noon to 5:00 p.m.

The Emerald City Express large miniature train display will mesmerize all ages as it winds through the intricately decorated Wizard of Oz layout. Memorabilia from the much-loved movie enhance the trains’ configurations. Hourly drawings for free cotton candy offer a sweet bonus to visitors.

Thursday, June 27: Defying Gravity Day, noon to 5:00 p.m.

Experience the sand-sculpting magic of the “Sand Pirate,” Janet Schrader, as she coaxes sand into a magnificent structure in front of the Shadowland Ballroom. Between noon and 5:00 p.m., she will share tips on how to create sandcastles. Ages 3-12 can enter the hourly drawings for Kinetic Sand at the Carousel refreshment stand.

Friday, June 28: Horse of a Different Color Day, noon to 5:00 p.m.

The Carousel will present riders with packs of Skittles candies during surprise rides. Children between the ages of 5-14 can show off their skills in the “Over the Rainbow” coloring contest with winners chosen in random drawings on June 29. Two winners in each age category will receive gift baskets. 

All week there will be free coloring sheets and opportunities to take pictures with favorite Carousel figures, including the lion, tigers and bear. Free corn hole games with unique artistic renderings of Wizard of Oz characters are available outside the Carousel House. 


Within the Silver Beach Center are two more attractions — the Shadowland Ballroom and Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone. Visit or call (269) 932-1141 for more information.

Silver Beach Carousel (circa 2010) features 48 hand-carved, hand-painted figures and two chariots. Over 1,000 twinkling lights enhance the Carousel’s frame while the 18 rounding boards around the top of the machine share Southwest Michigan’s rich history with colorized, vintage photos. 

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