Silver Beach Carousel celebrates Founders' Week

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. - The Silver Beach Carousel in St. Joseph, Michigan, is celebrating its annual Founders’ Week, and this year, they're taking visitors away to the Land of Oz.

From Dorothy and Toto to the Wicked Witch of the West, the entire Emerald City has come to life on the shores of Lake Michigan.

This week is all about commemorating the founding of the Silver Beach Amusement Park, which thrilled generations of visitors from its opening way back in 1891 until its closure in 1971.

This week pays tribute to the park's founders, Louis Wallace and Logan Drake, and honors their legacy. Each day of the celebration features a different theme, making every visit unique.

Today is Kiddies' Munchkins Day from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., where kids can purchase at least two carousel ride tickets at half price. There will also be giveaways throughout the day, offering children the chance to win prizes.

Silver Beach Carousel operator Ken Kaszubowski says he wants to bring smiles to the faces of visitors; young and old.

"We just want people to reminisce and those that are old enough, were able to go into the museum park, you know, they can think about that time period. And talk to their children today about what it was like," Kaszubowski said.

Wallace and Drake purchased land on Silver Beach in the late 1800s, transforming it into an amusement park that captured the hearts of visitors.

It wasn't until January 2010 when the current Silver Beach Carousel opened its doors, marking the beginning of a new generation.

Inside the center, it includes displays, showcasing the carousel's history and information about its founders, ensuring that younger generations understand the impact of the attraction.

Some of the original rides from the early days of the amusement park are still present, preserving a piece of history with every spin of the carousel.

"Carousels are all about the glitz and the music. The music is the heartbeat of the carousel. And for me, it's running the carousel and watching people smile. Kids that have been here for the first time, when that ride starts, they just get this great big, huge smile on their face," Kaszubowski said.

Founders' week at Silver Beach Carousel runs through June 28th, so there's still time to follow the Yellow Brick Road to St. Joseph.

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