Mo’s Carousel at Myriad Gardens officially opened to the public Thursday, September 20 in the Pavilion next to the Children’s Garden. It will be open through Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp., October 5 through 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The carousel will fall under the admission cost of $8 for nonmembers, free to Gardens’ members.

Cost is $2 per ride, and it is free for Family PLUS members. The token machine for the carousel takes credit cards and cash. It will take debit cards only if the debit card can also serve as a credit card. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted.

History

With the closing of Crossroads Mall/Plaza Mayor Mall in south Oklahoma City, owners Michael Dillard and Roddy Bates had a carousel on their hands that needed a new home. When Oklahoman business reporter Steve Lackmeyer learned of the situation, he got in touch with Maureen Heffernan, executive director of Myriad Botanical Gardens, to suggest the Gardens as a possible venue for the carousel. Heffernan reached out to Dillard and Bates who ultimately offered to donate the carousel to the Gardens because we had the perfect location – the covered pavilion near the Children’s Garden. We just had to move it here.

As the donation was finalized, Lee Allan Smith stepped up to raise operating funds by coordinating and securing sponsorship of each of the carousel figurines from private donors. Smith, who has been a champion of the Gardens from its beginning, also facilitated a naming opportunity with LaDonna and Herman Meinders, longtime supporters of the Gardens. They chose to honor their friend and executive administrator, Mo Grotjohn. Starting Thursday, September 19, the carousel will now be referred to as Mo’s Carousel at Myriad Gardens.

Mo’s Carousel includes everything from its previous location, excluding the blue and white canopy top. It features hand-carved wooden horses and figurines from the Allan Herschell Company which at one time was the most prolific makers of carousels in the country.

The addition of Mo’s Carousel contributes to the evolution of the Gardens as Oklahoma City’s award-winning green space and urban park. It also will serve as a revenue source to help support Myriad Gardens Foundation.