The Merry-Go-Round horses, fully restored by artist Marlene Irving, are currently on display in Botanica's main lobby.
With fall comes cool air, the return of the pumpkin spice latte and a strong sense of nostalgia. As the leaves turn bright shades of red and orange, we remember all there is to love about this time of year and the joy it has brought us in years past. Between field trips to the pumpkin patch, raking leaves into a pile just to jump in and scatter them again, and riding on the Wacky Shack at Joyland, fall brings back lots of good memories.
With the help of Botanica's Ghoulish Gala, however, Joyland, Wichita's former amusement park, will live on as more than just a memory. The Ghoulish Gala, a signature Halloween event for adults, is dedicated to raising funds for the restoration and installation of the original Joyland Merry-Go-Round.
Botanica hs spent the last several months funding the restoration of the 1949 Allen Herschel Merry-Go-Round, as well as the construction of a building that will house it.
In January of 2014, the Merry-Go-Round was donated to the Wichita Gardens by Margaret Nelson Spear, whose family owns the Joyland park.
"Margaret wanted the Merry-Go-Round displayed some where people could enjoy it and remember Joyland," Botanica Director Marty Miller said.
"Our restoration Artist, Marlene Irvin is working on the second set of four horses right now," Miller said. There are 36 horses and two chariots.
"It's an intricate process, but when it's done it will be more brilliant, more exuberant and more sparkly than ever."
The Gala will take place on Oct. 23, at Botanica from 6:30 p.m. until midnight.
Costumes are encouraged, and a costume contest will be held.
"There will be lots of opportunities to win prizes. Our committee has raised $25,000 just for prizes," Miller said.
In true fall spirit, the Gala features hayrack rides pulled by two teams of Clydesdale horses, games, music, food and spooky drinks.
"It'll scare you to death," Miller joked.
Admission to the Ghoulish Gala is $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers.
To purchase tickets online, visit click here.