Colorful new carousel opens in Gaithersburg

This weekend, a grand new carousel opened at the Rio Washingtonian in Gaithersburg. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — While some shopping complexes offer children’s play areas, Rio Washingtonian in Gaithersburg has taken it to the next level with its colorful new lakefront carousel.

The ride opened for business this weekend at the shopping, dining and entertainment complex just off I-270 and I-370 in Gaithersburg.

The ride seemed to be a hit with the first-day crowd.

“I think it was beautiful,” says 10-year-old Alysse Smith, a fourth grader at Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park. “It was a really good time going around many times, you could feel the wind.

“It was really fun,” Smith continues. “I liked how they had different kinds of animals.”

The carousel can accommodate 38 adults and 30 children and is accessible to wheelchairs. It features 30 molded figures — mostly horses, but some other creatures, including an eagle, dragon, and porpoise.

Built by Chance Rides, of Witchita, Kan., the carousel also has beveled glass mirrors and an antique-style lighted ceiling.

“It’s amazing because once you go around, you’re able to see the grass, the trees and then you’re able to see the lake and what’s beyond the lake and it’s really pretty,” says Ella Yankowski, 11, whose mother works for Peterson Companies, the developers of Rio Washingtonian.

Rides are $3.

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