The House on the Rock Halloween Weekend Carousel Contest Guidelines (5/21/10)

May 25, 2010 at 1:37pm

Neil Gaiman will be the sole judge of the Saturday night costume contest. As this is an American Gods weekend, we encourage folks to run with the theme, but all costumes will be considered for competition, because what the hell, it’s Halloween. General judging qualifications might include attention to detail, how the costume relates to the AG/HOR/gods/mythology/other-Neil-stuff, general wit, and craftsmanship; though ultimately it’s up to Neil to decide who the winners will be.

When Alex Jordan designed and built The World’s Largest Carousel thirty years ago he intended it for the viewing pleasure of his guests and never thought that anyone would ever ride it. I don’t think that Alex rode it himself; he was satisfied in his declining years to sit quietly unknown and watch visitors enjoy his work. We were delighted (as I’m sure Alex would have been) when we read Neil’s description of the Carousel and when we saw its place in the American Gods tale. What better way to celebrate the author and fans of American Gods than to let a small number of fans ride the Carousel.

Here are some things to understand about the Carousel and this rare opportunity to ride it: The figures on a traditional carousel are made with the riders in mind so there are no sharp claws or fragile appendages, etc. and the figures are spaced for easy access. Since this Carousel was not meant to be ridden, there are sharp claws, fragile appendages, etc., and tight spaces. There will be things that are important to remember when designing costumes:

----There are a certain number of restrictions including, but not limited to: open flames, weapons, smoke, and sharp projections. Other safety and security restrictions may be added to this list as we go along -- we’ll keep you posted.

---To be guided to a rideable figure on the Carousel you need be able to walk up two steps and a few feet down a ramp and then be guided through a space 20 inches wide (you could move sideways) and 6 feet high. If your costume does not fit these dimensions you will need to design so that parts (for example headdresses) are removable. The rideable carousel figures will have enough headspace so that you can put your hat, or whatever, back on for your ride. Of course, we will accommodate those over six feet tall as best we can. For access and safety reasons we cannot have any long non-removeable trains on the Carousel.

---I never thought that I would hear myself say this, and I have several dead relatives who are tisking in their graves: for the Carousel ride, a certain level of sobriety will be important and may be a qualifying consideration.

---Members of the Chamber of Commerce of Spring Green, Employees of The House on the Rock Resort, Attraction, and Inn, organizing members and volunteers of the Low Key Gathering group are not eligible for the costume contest or drawing.

---As the time gets closer we will be sending along more information about how the contest will proceed. If you have any questions about this, contact me at: tomk@thehouseontherock.com