Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway is becoming more fun than Disney World.
Witness what's going to happen on Labor Day Weekend here on the greenway in the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove across the street from Faneuil Hall Marketplace in the Wharf District: The Grand Opening of the Greenway Carousel, a permanent carousel featuring, instead of the usual horses, 14 different creatures native to the land, sea and skies of Massachusetts. Ride a lobster, whale, sea turtle, fox, Peregrine falcon or even a skunk, as the carousel starts rides at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 31.
With a total of 36 seats and 660 light fixtures of different sizes, the carousel will be the most accessible in New England for young and old with physica or sensory disabilities. The wings of the butterfly characters flutter up and down when the carousel is in motion. It will play a variety of music from traditional children's songs by Raffe to the Star Wars theme song and Boston's own Dropkick Murphys.
The carousel is a totally unique, totally Boston creation, with characters inspired by the drawings of Boston school children and brought to life by Neewburyport sculptor Jeff Briggs. One of the characters is a grasshopper matching the symbol atop the weathervane at nearby Faneuil Hall.
Believing that the way we treat animals reflects how we become true stewards of the earth, much of sculptor Jeff's work focuses on creating lifelike representations of animals and by doing so helps make people aware of their environment. The sculptor spent three years researching and studying creatures of Massachusetts in order to sculpt their bodies as they appear moving through their natural environments. He partnered with painter William Rogers of Haverhill, Massachusetts, to add realistic color and teture to the Greenway Carousel characters' scales, fur and feathers.
In 2006 Jeff piloted the design and sculpture of The Detroit River Conservancy carousel with a similarly unusual menagerie including creatures indigenous to the Detroit River area: egret, snail, loon, frog, eagle and heron. The carousel's fulcrum is a revolving mural of the Detroit River's ecosystem with stylized accents in an Art Nouveau motif.
Jeff worked as scuptor and principal designer of The Fabricon Carousel Compay of New York City for over 25 years, creating numerous carousels operating in Singapore, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia and throughout the United States. He has collaborated with his wife Lindley in their Newburyport, Massachusetts, studio for the past 40 years. Together they have produced over 6000 larger-than-life wooden butterflies, flies, dragonflies, moths, peacocks and wooden flowers for shops, galleries and collectors throughout the country. They have also worked on projects for Disneyworld, Euro Disney, FAO Schwartz, Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean.
Jeff holds a B.S. degree in education from Tufts University and a diploma in painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy is a mile and a half of connected, contemporary parks in downtown Boston completed in 2008 as a welcoming green cover for the city's 'Big Dig" highway project. With beautiful plantings, run-in children's fountains, yoga and other exercise classes and art exhibitions offered on the grass and fences, the greenway has become this summer's hugelypopular center for outdoor gatherings near the North End of Boston.
Tickets for the rides will be $3 per ride, available for purchase on-site and the hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m daily, weather permitting through Halloween. It will also be open for weekends in November and December through New Year's Eve.