Missoula carousel closed indefinitely after bearing fails

(KPAX) A main bearing failure is idling one of Missoula’s top attractions, forcing A Carousel for Missoula to close indefinitely.

Operators of the popular family attraction announced the bearing which powers the antique carousel has broken and it will take several weeks to find, or even build, a replacement.

It will then take additional time to install the new bearing and in the meantime, the group says it’s just not safe to operate the ride.

That news is being greeted with some “oh nos” and disappointment as families and visitors wander through Caras Park, hoping to enjoy the carousel.

However, the gift shop will remain open for the time being, and the newly renovated Dragon Hollow playground will be open as usual.

“Our gift shop is open. The park will be open either way. And we just finished refurbishing Dragon Hollow and it’s been expanded,” said Carousel for Missoula operator Jeff Overturf.

“A bunch of new features out there. More accessible for people with limited mobility. And it’s worth coming on down to the park and seeing, even if we can’t give you a ride on the horses,” he added.

“The motor and frame for this were built in 1918. A hundred and one years old this year — and we get to be that age we’re going to have a couple issues ourselves I’m thinking,” Overturf said.

The volunteers say they are doing everything within their power to get the carousel “up and running as quickly as possible.”