A big part of those holiday traditions often revolve around local landmarks signifying something special — the Scottsdale McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is such a place.
“As a board member of the Scottsdale railroad and mechanical Society since 1991 I have enjoyed watching the growth of the city and the increased use of the park for many years,” said Scottsdale Charro Marc Miller.
The Scottsdale Charros provided the railroad park with a $25,000 grant this year providing for repair and update costs of the Charros Carousel at the local landmark.
“As a member of the Scottsdale Charros since 1994, it has been a natural fit to support city efforts for a safe environment for our families, children and tourists. The railroad park has become a staple in the community, not only because of the carousel and train rides, but also for the new model railroad building.”
Henry Garcia, railroad park assistant coordinator, points out supporting the local venue’s heavy workload is a significant financial investment the Scottsdale Charros haven taken on this year.
“This fall we needed to replace 10 worn out cam shafts and spur gears on the carousel due to the popularity of the ride (annual riders 224,000), and two of them recently had cracks due to fatigue,” he explained.
The carousel now has a fresh coat of paint giving the classic merry-go-round a fresh look, Mr. Garcia says.
“This 1950 vintage Allan Herschell carousel was acquired by the park in 1997 through the funds by Scottsdale Charros, and the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society,” he said of the equipment’s history. “It had spent many years at Benson’s Wild Animal Park in Hudson, NH, and a few years at a New Hampshire race track prior to being trucked across the country and restored for the railroad park by Brass Ring Entertainment.”
Local efforts like those fueled by members of the Scottsdale Charros and the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society help preserve one of the most unique parks in the nation, Mr. Hernandez says.
“Carousels are popular all over the country. You really don’t realize how popular until you see the ridership of our Carousel, well over 220,000 each year,” he said.
But all those rides creates a steady need for repairs and general maintenance, Mr. Miller says.
“With any park amenity, it takes financial support to maintain the quality and safety of the equipment,” he said. “The park certainly would not be the same without the carousel.”
The Scottsdale McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is featuring holiday lights until Saturday, Jan. 3.
Train and carousel rides are $2 each with children under three riding free with a paying adult. Holiday Lights runs 6:30 to 9 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Jan. 3.
The park is at 7301 E. Indian Bend Road. For more information, call 480-312-2312 or visit www.therailroadpark.com
News Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at 623-445-2774 or follow him at www.twitter.com/nvnewsman
Terrance Thornton can be contacted at 623-445-2774 or at firstname.lastname@example.org