Belgian period:
1885 to 1964

New York period:
1964 to 1965

Montreal period:
1966 to today

Belgian period: 1885 to 1964

Liege 1920

 

The carousel was built in 1885 in Bressoux, a small town near Liège. The first owners of the carousel were Léon Bolland and his sons Richard and Raymond. In 1932, Le Galopant was bought and renovated by Jacques and Mélanie Bairolle, known worldwide for their involvement with carousels.

Le Galopant kicked off each summer season by taking part in the Dolhain-Limbour celebration before going on to various fairs held from March to October. Because the carousel had to be set up and taken down quickly, its artisans had to exercise ingenuity when designing the decorative elements. They created panels that camouflaged the structure and could be disassembled quickly for easy transportation.

New York period: 1964 to 1965

NewYork 1965

Le Galopant came to North America for the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and 1965. It was located in the Belgian village, which was the largest recreated architectural structure at the fair, attracting over 100,000 visitors per week in the first season.

 

Montreal period: 1966 to today

Montréal 1967

At the time the New York World’s Fair was being held, Montreal was busy getting ready to host the 1967 International and Universal Exposition. The concept of an amusement park had already become rooted in people’s minds and EXPO 67 created its very own—La Ronde. In addition to rides, games of skill, and other entertainment, a multitude of shops and restaurants were grouped together under the name Carrefour international, offering specialties from a host of countries.

To enhance Carrefour international, Compagnie de l’Exposition universelle de 1967 wanted to install an antique carousel. The logical and unanimous choice was Le Galopant, because it was the oldest galloping carousel in the world.

The carousel was later moved to two other sites. In 1968, it was relocated to the section Le Monde des petits, and in 1984 to La Petite Ronde. Le Galopant delighted children from 1968 to 2003, the year when it was decided to renovate the carousel.

 

Photos from Lambert Jamers’ collection