Fête Paradiso, the world’s first festival of vintage French carnival rides and carousels, will make its American debut this summer on Governors Island in New York City. The collection, which includes a diverse array of attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as carousels, flying swings and a pipe organ, will be available for the public to ride and enjoy every weekend until September 29.
The festival of artisan-crafted, vintage carousels and carnival rides – like a French film miraculously come to life – is the first of its kind to appear in the US. Among the classic attractions, which come from the collections of Francis Staub and Regis Masclet, is a bicycle carousel from the late 19th century, one of only two in the world that were created in Paris to encourage the use of what was then the new mode of transportation, the bicycle. Fête Paradiso will also include an early 20th century Music-Hall Ball Guzzler, a carnival game that features life-size caricatures of Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, Charlie Chaplin, the Fratellini Brothers and other celebrities of the time.
To further enhance the experience, a bumper car pavilion from 1900 has been transformed into a beer garden and special event space with food reminiscent of a French carnival prepared by New York’s legendary French bistro Le Gamin. In addition, a 1930 children’s carousel has been repurposed into a music kiosk, where performers will entertain visitors with period music and side show performances to heighten the Fellini-inspired environment.
All of Fête Paradiso’s historic amusements will be constructed by a French family of artisans who specialize in repairing and constructing museum-quality carousels. The group has been flown to New York to build the attraction, which will be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.
Fête Paradiso is a project of Community, a Paris-based company that specializes in organizing and promoting events in the tourism and cultural industries. Fête Paradiso is also available for private and corporate events.