Solar-Powered Buffalo Heritage Carousel Summer Season Kick Off

Saturday is going to be quite the day at Canalside. Along with the official inauguration of the Erie Canal Boat Seneca Chief, the Solar Powered Buffalo Heritage Carousel will officially open for the season. This will be the fourth summer that the carousel will be in action, as an integral part of the continued legacy of the Buffalo waterfront. The dedication will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Carousel’s Russell J. Salvatore History Corner.

The Carousel, housed in the award-winning and sustainably-built KeyBank Roundhouse, is 1 of only 5 solar-powered carousels in the world.

Along with the opening of the carousel’s summer season, there will be plenty of other reasons to celebrate and participate in the ceremonies. The Carousel will honor its late founder, Joan Bozer, whose vision for a solar carousel was so “out of the box” that many people didn’t think her dream/vision was possible. Of course Joan pushed forward at breakneck speed and accomplished this incredible feat in short order.

Cutting-edge solar technology is provided by the only commercially-installed Tesla solar roof, manufactured using locally-made solar shingles.

Saturday will also be the day that the carousel’s new ticketing policy will go into effect. Instead of paying $1 a ride, which is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to maintaining and operating the ride, ticket pricing will now be donation based.

2024 marks a century since the carousel was built in WNY, which is another great reason to celebrate Canalside on Saturday. Visitors are welcome to attend the grand celebration, which will feature the following:

The Carousel will honor its late founder, Joan Bozer and her colleague and early Carousel supporter, the late Walter Simpson with the dedication of a memorial plaque.

NY State Senator Sean Ryan will be a featured speaker at the Solar Carousel Season Kick Off.

The beautiful menagerie carousel will celebrate its centennial anniversary….100 years since it was custom built in North Tonawanda, N.Y. in 1924.

Discounts on merchandise will be offered all weekend for visitors who sign up as members and merchandise raffles will happen throughout the day.

Visitors will now be encouraged to pay what they can and to “pay it forward” with the intention of increasing fundraising efforts.

Days/hours of operation:

Memorial Weekend Hours: Saturday – Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Summer Hours*: Wednesday – Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm Closed Mondays and Tuesdays *Summer hours run through Labor Day

Click here to learn more about the carousel.


The Solar-Powered Buffalo Heritage Carousel, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, owns and operates a historic, park-style, menagerie carousel at Canalside in Buffalo. Its mission is to demonstrate— in real time— the power of renewable energy to operate a locally made and restored historic carousel, providing education, joy and hope for children and individuals of all ages and for generations to come. Designed and manufactured in 1924 by Spillman Engineering, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., the Carousel was reopened in 2021 after a painstaking restoration process by area artists, then updated with a Tesla solar roof and enclosed in the KeyBank Roundhouse, an award-winning, landmark building produced from sustainable materials. One of only five solar-powered Carousels in the world, this community and tourism asset has been referred to as the “jewel on the top of the Canalside crown.” Positioned at the terminus of the Erie Canal, it has provided affordable enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of visitors, while celebrating Western New York’s leadership in historic preservation; its history of carousel manufacturing, and its legacy of leadership in the use of renewable energy since the first transmission of hydro-electric power from Niagara Falls to Buffalo.

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