Fête Paradiso: A Vintage French Carnival on Governor’s Island

Disclosure: I received ride tickets for this post.

Where in the world can you find a 1920’s vintage, French carnival with original carousels?





If I told you it was right in my hometown, would you believe me?

Well it’s here in my hometown, New York City……..Governor’s Island to be exact. And it won’t be there for long. From now til’ September 29th (only weekends), you’ll be able to visit an island that was closed off to the public for years and enjoy the cool 1920’s era as well as ride some of the oldest carousels.

About Fête Paradiso:

This summer, Fête Paradiso, the world’s first traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels, will make its American debut on Governors Island in New York City. The rare, museum-quality collection, which includes a diverse array of attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as carousels, flying swings and a pipe organ, will be available for the public to ride and enjoy every weekend from July 13 – September 29.

The extraordinary festival of artisan-crafted, vintage carousels and carnival rides – like a French film miraculously come to life – is the first of its kind to appear in the United States. Among the attractions, which come from the collections of Francis Staub and Regis Masclet, is a bicycle carousel from the late 19th century – one of only two in the world that were created in Paris to encourage the use of what was then the new mode of transportation – the bicycle. (The only other bicycle carousel can be seen in the feature film Midnight in Paris.) Fête Paradiso will also include an early 20th century Music-Hall Ball Guzzler, a carnival game that features life-size caricatures of Josephine Baker, Charlie Chaplin and other celebrities of the time.

My daughter and I were invited by Phil and Company to experience this once-in-a-lifetime vintage carnival one weekend. As soon as I saw the web site, I was excited and intrigued.

As a New Yorker (lived in New York all my life), I never once thought I would get the opportunity to visit Governor’s Island.  And now that I’m a Dutchess County resident, I couldn’t wait to venture off to the city and see what Governor’s Island and Fête Paradiso was all about.

Check out the photos from our day below:






My daughter and I had a blast!  Fête Paradiso is perfect for kids of all ages. If you’re a lover of all things carnival and vintage, you MUST visit Governor’s Island before Fête Paradiso is gone. It’s a whole new world and you’ll get to experience never-before seen vintage rides. I would love to visit again. It’s worth the wait (the line to get on the ferry was long) and only a 9-minute ferry ride.

On Governor’s Island
Every Weekend
July 13 to Sept 29th
10:30AM to 6:30PM

From Manhattan, ferries leave from the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South Street, on the corner of South and Whitehall Streets. The first ferry leaves Manhattan at 10 a.m. Return ferries to Manhattan run every half hour until 7 p.m.

From Brooklyn, ferries leave from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue. The first ferry from Brooklyn leaves at 10:30 a.m. Return ferries to Brooklyn run every half hour until 7 p.m.

Fête Paradiso is FREE but all rides and games are $3 each.

Visit Governor’s Island for more information.
Visit Fete Paradiso’s Site
Fan Fete paradiso on Facebook
Visit Fete Paradiso on Twitter
Visit Fete Paradiso on Instagram

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