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Ride vintage carousels at Governors Island's Fête Paradiso

Francophiles, take note. A festival of vintage French carousels and carnival rides is making its way to Governors Island this summer.

  • Photograph: Thibault Masclet

    Governors Island's Fête Paradiso

  • Photograph: Thibault Masclet

    Governors Island's Fête Paradiso

  • Photograph: Regis Masclet

    Governors Island's Fête Paradiso

  • Photograph: Thibault Masclet

    Governors Island's Fête Paradiso

  • Photograph: Regis Masclet

    Governors Island's Fête Paradiso

Photograph: Thibault Masclet

Governors Island's Fête Paradiso


Find a little piece of Paris in New York City starting Saturday, July 6 [Note: We just found out that the festival will now kick off on Saturday, July 13 in celebration of Bastille Day] , when Governors Island plays host to a collection of rare, museum-quality carnival rides and games. The Fête Paradiso (“party of paradise”) will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 10am–6:30pm, and will include a variety of carnival attractions from a bygone era, like flying swings, carousels and a pipe organ. Highlights include a 19th century bicycle carousel (with bikes instead of horses—it’s one of only two in the world); an early-20th century carnival game called Music-Hall Ball Guzzler, featuring caricatures of Josephine Baker, Charlie Chaplin, and other “modern” celebrities; and a 1930s repurposed children’s carousel, now a music kiosk where period musical performances and sideshows will take place.

When families are tuckered out from the rides, they can refuel in the turn-of-the century bumper car pavilion, which has been converted into a beer garden and event space with French carnival-style foods whipped up by the French bistro Le Gamin. Check it out before September 29, when Fête Paradiso bids NYC adieu and heads back home to France.

The festivals takes place on Governors Island from July 13–September 29. Admission is free; rides and games $3 each.


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