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Carousel at Ontario Beach Park Grinds To A Halt

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Rochester: Carousel at Ontario Beach Park Grinds To A Halt
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Visitors to Ontario Beach Park usually have to check to see if the beach is open to swimming during the hot summer months. Now there's another attraction in Charlotte that's closed.

The beach was open for swimming at Ontario Beach Park on Wednesday, a welcome relief from the hot, humid temperatures.

While swimming was allowed, one of the parks other main attractions was closed: the historic Dentzel Carousel.

"About a week ago, it came to a grinding halt. We've narrowed it down to a gear that lost some of its teeth and needs to be replaced," said County Parks director Larry Staub.

The carousel is a main attraction for young families when they come to Ontario Beach Park, especially those from out of town.

Jenny Jarosick grew up in Irondequoit before moving to Atlanta about 20 years ago. She and her family come back to visit every summer. Jenny says her children always look forward to riding the carousel when they come north.

"We'll let them play at the playground and all that, but we were looking forward to this so it is a disappointment, but kids are kids and we'll find something to do," Jarosick said.

The carousel is 108 years old. It was considered state-of-the-art back in 1905. Spare parts haven't been available for about 75 years.

"They're made out of cast iron so we have to get a new gear cast at a foundry and it's going to take a month or so," Staub said.

There is hope on the horizon. Seabreeze Amusement Park has come to the rescue. There is a history with carousels in the Norris family, the owners of Seabreeze. They have connections in the industry and believe they can help Monroe County get a new part.

"We found two foundries that are willing to make new ones but that may take some time, so we may do an interim repair and then this fall, they take it out and have one cast," said Seabreeze head mechanic Dean Shorey.

Shorey has examined the broken gear and is confident he can give the Ontario Beach Park carousel a quick temporary fix.

"The teeth have to be replaced into the gear itself then smoothed out and everything and that will probably get them through until fall," Shorey said.

Shorey says that should take only a couple of weeks and that was good news for Jenny Jarosick.

"Hopefully they'll get it fixed before we leave."

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