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A New Dream


A Place Where Artistry & Education Come Alive

"There is something magical about climbing up on a wooden horse, waiting for the organ music to begin, and riding the horse around on its circular flight. The pure joy and excitement of our young visitors is something we should all experience."

- Marie Bradford-Blevins, Executive Director Salem's Riverfront Carousel

Why We Need The Stables

This new building will house our carving and education area and an event venue, expanding our capacity to offer educational classes and programs for community members and visitors. 


Designed to compliment the Carousel building and park surroundings, and the new outdoor amphitheater, the building will be located on the west side of the Carousel. 


The building is also the new home for the Salem Peace Mosaic. Installed at its original site in 2011, the mosaic was created by over 600 community members, ages 2 to 85, under the leadership of renowned artist Lynn Takata. Through images of peace among peoples and between humans and the natural world, the artwork celebrates Salem as a city whose name literally means peace. The mosaic is a community treasure and will be enjoyed by visitors to Riverfront Park.

To learn more about the Save the Salem Peace Mosaic project, please visit here.


This campaign will expand our community partnerships, enhance our outreach efforts, and attract new visitors to Salem and the Carousel. Our goal is to complete the campaign by 2024.

The Carousel Artisans

A key attraction at the Carousel is the opportunity to interact and participate in educational programs and classes with our carvers.

These volunteers play an important role in attracting visitors and enhancing their experience. Our carvers, sanders and painters delight and educate visitors and school groups with their talent and humor. 


On any given day, we average more than 400 visitors to the Carousel, most of whom want to interact with the carvers and watch them work. We have clearly outgrown our current 420 sq. ft. carving room, and we are now ready to prepare for a capital campaign to build “The Stables.”

Visualizing the Dream

“The Stables” Annex will create a space for carousel horse carving and classes, a controlled area for painting, and room for the public to visit and learn about the craft from actual artisans. 

Located on the west side of the Carousel building, the addition will attract visitors who are using the park to recreate outdoors. 

The approximately 2,400 sq. ft. (40' x 60') barn-style structure is designed to be at the same floor elevation as the existing Carousel building to increase accessibility and to provide the best access for tours.


The new building will resemble a carriage house, providing the ideal compliment to the existing Carousel building, while not detracting from the overall aesthetic features of Riverfront Park.


Our volunteers artisans hard at work in our current workshop spaces

Left: West Side View of The Stables & Location for Salem Peace Mosaic
Right: Portion of the Salem Peace Mosaic

Building illustrations of The Stables expansion project 

Carving Area

The carving area is designed for larger scale, direct engagement between our volunteers and the public. The Stables will house workshop space for 12 individual carving cubicles with 1-2 larger scale collaborative carving spaces.


Glass doors will open to the outside area. Cabinetry will house presentation and exhibition materials, trade tools, and supplies.


Additional floor space is designated for temporary storage of woodcarving projects and to accommodate groups of up to 30 people for interaction with the artisans.

Painting Area

The painting area will create a space for the artisans to work and allow for direct engagement with visitors.


This area will provide a controlled environment to protect and preserve the artworks from the elements.


A sliding glass partition will encourage the public to view the painting area and be protected from the materials used in creating the artwork.

Self-Guided Viewing Area & Interpretation

The self-guided viewing area for the public will showcase a variety of other figures and artworks of a historical or preservation nature. All of these aspects are considered and developed to expand opportunities for the general public to gather together in and around the Annex area. Wall-sized windows will provide a means for the public to view inside from the park, year-round, beyond the operating hours of the Carousel. 


Both interior and exterior interpretive exhibits will tell the Carousel story while building an awareness of the role the Carousel plays in Salem’s rich cultural history. This design will encourage the public to spend more time in Riverfront Park, which directly supports and enhances the primary function of the overall site by giving visitors more to see, more to explore, and more to do.

How You Can Help

Your support will create an enduring legacy for our community that will enrich and delight our children and other visitors for generations to come.

  • Consider making a tax-deductible gift.

  • Include the Carousel in your estate plans.

  • Explore volunteer opportunities. 

  • Encourage your neighbors, friends and employees to visit the Carousel. 

Resource Needs

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Our mission remains to be more than just a ride. We strive to provide a vibrant venue that is truly a gathering place that enhances people’s lives. Your support will create an endearing legacy for our community. You are invited to help us keep the dream alive!

Building plans and illustrations by Arbuckle Costic & Company
This project has been funded in part by grants from the Oregon Cultural Trust and Travel Oregon.

 Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, a nonprofit organization (501.c.3 ID # 91-1815668), was handcrafted between 1996-2001 and is distinctly Oregon themed with various Oregon state symbols as part of its artistic attraction. All of the items, including the animals were and are ‘adopted’ with sponsorship and support from our local community.  We strive to keep the dream alive by embracing our global community, promoting tourism/volunteerism, providing cultural/educational opportunity/events/programming, and continuing business/agency partnering. Our goal remains to inspire creative living, community cohesiveness, cooperation, diversity, inclusion, imagination and fun, for generations to come!

To help us Keep the Dream Alive, make a donation now.

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