A New Holiday Proclaimed by the City of San Diego, October 3, 2022
If you’ve ever been to The Dorothea Laub Balboa Park Carousel, chances are you’ve seen Carousel Manager Bill Brown. Always friendly, Bill answers questions, assists riders, and starts the Carousel turning for almost every ride. Today, October 3, 2022, Bill has been working at the Balboa Park Carousel for 50 years. In honor of his outstanding service and dedication to one of San Diego’s most treasured attractions, the City of San Diego announced an official Proclamation, naming today Mr. Bill Brown Day.
Growing up in San Diego, Bill was a frequent visitor to the Balboa Park Carousel. In high school, he thought it would be a fun place to work, so he asked the owner when he could start. You had to be 16 years old to work at the Carousel, so the day after his birthday, he applied. Bill has been working at the Carousel consistently since.
Bill started as a part-time carousel assistant working his way to full-time Manager and Operator of the Carousel. Through years of study, Bill became an expert on historic carousels, and it’s through this dedication that the Balboa Park Carousel is able to run almost exactly as it did in 1910 when it was first built.
Beyond being the face of the Carousel, Bill spends countless hours maintaining the attraction—climbing to the top of the Carousel each morning to oil the bearings by hand, keeping the animal rides in tiptop shape, and monitoring all of the technical equipment that makes the Carousel go. He’s even given a lecture on maintaining historic carousels for the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum. This fall, he is supporting the Carousel’s restoration project, which includes improvements to ensure the Carousel lasts another century.