A huge, antique carousel nicknamed “The Smile Machine” will be dedicated tomorrow on the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion grounds in Mount Pleasant. Lanny Elger of the Old Threshers Foundation helped raise the 700-thousand dollars to restore the carousel and construct a huge pavilion for it. Elger says the carousel was used during the Old Thresher’s Reunion, then taken apart and stored on the grounds. He says taking it apart and putting it back together was what caused the problem.Elger says four years ago, they decided to raise money for a building so the carousel could be kept intact, year-round, and be protected from the elements. Elger says they’ve been giving free test rides since last weekend, but now it’ll cost a buck for a ride on the carousel as a calliope plays circus music. An 1894 steam-powered engine spins the carousel, but Elger says they hope to electrify it, too.The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion kicked off its 51st run this week.
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