Carousels for Palestine
Community Building from the Children Up
A Project Created by Port Townsend Carousel Association

Palestinian Children in Streets                  "Flying Horses" Riders in USA

Project Overview
Establishing a traditional "Flying Horses" carousel in the West Bank of Israel/Palestine is the current project of the Port Townsend Carousel Association, a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1984. The PTCA will donate a menagerie carousel to be set-up in a West Bank community for the children and families of the region.
Advisors living in the USA, Jerusalem and the West Bank are assisting in our site location process. Also, we appreciate any assistance from concerned proponents with contacts or liasons to help us in the primary search for an appropriate site and group willing to operate and maintain the carousel. We will also help the community in the design and construction of the carousel's pavilion.

The PTCA is dedicated to the empowerment of children through fun, fantasy and education via the centuries old and well proven ride of the carousel and ring-catch-and-toss game. Common sense tells us that a fundamental ingredient to life is a joyful childhood; more positive focus needs to be addressed to all children worldwide. Traditional, hand, foot-pedal and electric powered wooden carousel construction and operation in small communities is the PTCA's specialty. Our motto "Participate and Play for Peace".

It is not coincidental that over a thousand years ago European crusaders first saw carousels being used by Middle Eastern warriors as cavalry training devices. Crusaders brought the carousel idea back to Europe's castles first as a military training device, later an amusement ride in towns and eventually to the burgeoning 1850's USA. It is high time that this fun energy be returned to the people of the Middle East to help sustain healthy and happy communities.

The PTCA is raising money to purchase and complete the construction of MGR#10 (Merry-Go-Round No.10) which is located in Port Townsend WA. With this funding the mechanism purchase and final building/assembly/prep phase of this project can be completed in a few months. To do this we now need US$50,000. Project progress will be posted on this site.

When this prep is done we load the carousel into a container and ship it to Ashdod, Israel. Before shipping the carousel via container to Israel/Palestine, a PTCA site identification and preparation team will visit the region to meet the carousel's future community and prepare the carousel site. At the carousel's site, working with community members, we help build the pavilion.
The pavilion will protect the carousel from the sn and rain and help create a relaxed park-like atmosphere; this will also encourage local economic growth. Before the carousel's official opening we assist the local families in painting and stenciling the scenic panels. We set up the ring-catch-and-toss game with music and teach a local manager and crew simple carousel operation and maintenance techniques.

Daily operation is simple and fun, the carousel will last virtually forever. The carousel under the pavilion will be an important piece of a larger community focus. Generations of children will enjoy this durable local ride and ring-catch-and-toss game. Much will be learned from the setting-up process, the painting process and the operation process.

swan girls grabbing brass rings

80+% of MGR#10 is Now Complete.
Parts Needed and Tasks Remaining for 100% Completion and Shipping Prep:

1.) 5 swing seat kits with hangers (buy seats on Amazon, make hangers in PT)
2.) 2 animals for riding (already have, just need some modifications for this use)
3.) Ring-catch stand (local PT welder puts together base, we finish)
4.) Clownface target (make in PT workshop)
5.) Hand-crank drivetrain and gearbox (buy from Seattle supplier, fit and install in PT workshop staging yard)
6.) Battery charged with PV cells and LED lights (Amazon purchase)
7.) Sound System, player, speakers (ditto)
8.) Low fence with gate (buy hardware, make on site)
9.) Pavilion Roofing (ship over or buy locally?)
10.) Paints for Scenic Panels etc. (bring along and purchase locally)
11.) Flatbed Shipping/Hauling Trailer (purchase and prepare in PT)
12.) Transportation and Lodging for installation team

Why a carousel for Palestine?...for those war weary children? video below:

Click Here for Youtube video of MGR#8, at 2014 PT Wooden Boat Festival

Carousels for Palestine Facebook Page

Fundraising Beginning September 2015

Fund Raising Goal for Parts Needed and Tasks Remaining - $50,000.
Funds Raised to Date: $100.
Thus far we have raised 0.2% of our goal.
Funds shall remain deposited in bank until majority of $50,000. goal is reached, at which time finishing work will begin.

 Donating and Contact:
We need to raise US$50,000. The PTCA is organizing this project. It is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation so your donation is tax deductible. Documentation for applicable non-profit tax filing status available upon request. Your donation helps tremendously, any size; $5. $10. $50. $100. $500. $1,000. $5,000. $10,000.

Please, for the many wonderful, though understandably weary, children of the West Bank, donate today. One way is to write a check to Port Townsend Carousel Association, mail to PTCA, 843 53rd Street, Port Townsend WA 98368-1504 or use the secure PayPal button below at left, you don't need a PayPal account to use this:

Can't afford to donate money? Help with your time, we need: organizational skills such as; secretary, web design, graphic artist, photo and video tech, outreach, woodwork, decorative painting, logistics, etc. Contact Bill at for details, or call: 360-531-2812 Thank You!

PHOTOS: MGR#10 - Semi-portable carousel with wooden center pole. 20 foot diameter. 15 riders.
With expert guidance the scenic panels will be painted, stenciled and decorated by the children and adults of the receiving community.
this is a semi-portable carousel with a traditional wooden centerpole 12 feet tall (3.7 meters).
This carousel needs a 30'+ (9.2+ meters) diameter pavilion, that is, a roof to protect it from the sun and rain.
See graphic at top of this page, a version of that kind of pavilion must be made. Lenny and Joe's Fishtale Drive-In
in Madison CT on Long Island Sound is the home of sister carousel MGR #9.

View of carousel #10 without scenic panels, shows double swan chariot, ring-catch stand is on far right,
in this photo swing seats are not in place.

MGR#10 Chariot View

View of carousel #10 with unpainted scenic panels in place, clownface ring-target is on far right,
swing seats shown in this photo.

mgr10 highview

Why Carousels for Palestine?
Childhood is a forever experience that comes only once in a lifetime, one needs to experience and know this wonderful energy in order to share it and carry it through a lifetime. Childhood, especially early childhood, is the most influential part of a human's life. Children and parents must be nurtured and supported by society especially well during this crucial period. The children and families of Gaza and the West Bank have been experiencing significant disruption to social order and other human fabrics which make up a healthy individual's worldview experiences.

The Port Townsend Carousel Association, in concert with the experience and expertise of other like-minded groups, is reaching out to the Middle East region, specifically the Palestinian community. We offer a simple, durable, wooden, traditional "flying horses" carousel, the same type which has brought hours and days of fun and joy to so many children here in Port Townsend to do the same thing in a Palestinian community.

The PTCA and friends will put this together, slowly and surely, make it ready (except for the scenic panel painting and pavilion which will happen on site) and ship it across the seas to Israel/Palestine. This is the message, children and childhood counts, big time! Watch us and see. Please help and join in on the change this will bring. Thank you.

Helpful Links:
1  Mondoweiss
2  Electronic Intifada
3  If Americans Knew
4  Active Stills
5  Fair Observer
6  Jewish Voice for Peace
7  Council on American-Islamic Relations
8  Canary Mission
9  International Solidarity Movement
10  End the Occupation
11  Anti-Defamation League
12  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
13  United with Israel
14  Defense for Children International - Palestine
15  International Solidarity Movement
16  Human Rights Watch - Palestine

1  Playgrounds for Palestine
2  Palestine Children's Relief Fund
3  Caritas Jerusalem
4  American Near East Refugee Aid - ANERA
5  Middle East Children's Alliance MECA


1  Origins of the Carousel
2  Carousel on Wikipedia
3  History of the Carousel
4  Preferred Text for Upcoming PTCA Video
5  Ring Catching Game Etiquette

After the successful completion of the above MGR#10 project (a semi-portable carousel), it is our intention to proceed similarly with a new program to introduce MGR#8 (a fully portable carousel) within the Palestinian community, preferably Gaza. It is complete and ready to go and does not need a pavilion, see video. It will similarly be shipped, delivered and set-up, thus making for two new carousels in the region.

BELOW: MGR#8 - Portable 15 rider carousel with steel centerpole on trailer wheels.

This carousel is mounted on a trailer and is easily portable.
It has a canopy top (not shown here) for sun and rain protection.

View of carousel #8 at PT Wooden Boat Festival, video link below via Youtube.
mgr8 portable


Youtube video of MGR#8 at 2014 PT Wooden Boat Festival


October 7, 2015