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A line outside the Greenport Carousel Friday. The wait was about 20 minutes. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

For parents on the North Fork and visitors with kids one of the most anticipated reopenings from the COVID-19 pandemic occurred this past weekend.

The Greenport Carousel, a crown jewel of Mitchell Park, was spinning once again last Friday. It had been closed since the initial shutdown last March.

It will continue on following regular hours, which from now until the end of school in late June means Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In summer it will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Families fortunate enough to get back out there last Friday and Saturday were happy to get back on the horse, but there are some new procedures in place you should know about.

We’ll walk you through a trip to the carousel in 2021.

The horses are cleaned between each ride. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

How do I get tickets?

You can no longer buy tickets inside the ride. Instead, head to the marina office on the east side of the park. As a result, tickets can now be purchased with a credit card. It’s still $2 per person to ride.

Where do I go next?

You still enter through the front door, but you should expect to wait on a line. With social distancing measures in place, there’s no more waiting inside. And even on a cold Friday afternoon, the line outside was fairly long at times.

There’s plenty of space between groups. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Is the ride itself crowded?

No. They’re only letting on a few groups at a time. In fact, we were surprised by how few riders there were with each ride.

Is it safe?

Absolutely. We noticed the carousel attendants were tracking which horses were in use each time and cleaning them thoroughly between rides. Again, these measures are adding to longer wait times, but it should be reassuring to anyone concerned with safety.

What other measures are being taken?

They’re asking groups to limit to one adult if possible to keep capacity low. And be sure to wear a mask!