Heritage Railway and Carousel are also looking for people to help out over the summer

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Dan Lair was working alone on Saturday, crawling through the cogs of the large carousel on the North Bay waterfront to perform regular maintenance.

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He takes care of the maintenance of the carousel, which has been part of the Heritage Railway and Carousel for a few years.

“Preventative stuff,” he says, like greasing bearings and other work to keep the horses working all summer.

“It’s a dirty job,” he admits, his once-white jumpsuit splattered with grease.

The carousel and trains will be ready to roll on Mother’s Day, the first time since 2019 visitors to the waterfront will be able to take a ride on what volunteers call ‘the jewel of the waterfront’.

COVID-19 canceled the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but with relaxed protocols in place so far this year, things are looking positive for the operation.

“They were always ready to go,” Lair says. In fact, a few movies have been made using the carousel and trains in the past couple of years.

Although Lair is a retired carter from Ontario Northland, most of his volunteer work is done on the carousel.

“I help out on the train when they need me, but they’re pretty well staffed there.”

He and other volunteers have been working to make sure everything is ready for the season, which runs from Mother’s Day through Thanksgiving. It will operate on weekends until the end of June, then will operate daily, depending on the weather.

When Labor Day rolls around, it will resume weekend-only operations.

The carousel and train operations are looking for volunteers to help out over the next few months. Applications are available at the North Bay Museum and a recruitment drive is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the site.

“If you have four hours a week to share with us, please help out,” Bill White said in a Facebook notice.

“The benefits of yummy screams and ear-to-ear smiles are priceless, and you can be a part of it.”