New QC amusement rides to help area children in need

The “Wind Up,” one of the new amusement rides at Modern Woodmen Park, in action. (Photo courtesy of the Quad Cities River Bandits)

The Quad Cities River Bandits introduced two new amusement rides at Modern Woodmen Park on Friday, and additionally will open a double-decker carousel later this month, with all profits from the new rides going to a non-profit corporation benefiting local, underprivileged children.

Here are details about the three new rides and the related non-profit corporation, from the River Bandits’ press release:

After already adding the Genesis Kidz Koaster earlier this season, the Quad Cities River Bandits continue to improve upon the many entertainment options at Modern Woodmen Park with the introduction of two brand new amusement rides, the “Wind Up” and “Double Play,” at the Friendliest Ballpark in America.

River Bandits owners Dave Heller and Roby Smith, Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch and the Trustee of the Bechtel Trusts, Richard Bittner, were on-hand to officially open the rides at a press conference Friday. The trio also announced the creation of a new 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation called the “Carousel Charitable Trust” to donate every single dollar of profit made by the new rides to help local, underprivileged children in the Quad Cities. And the group introduced the double-decker carousel, which will open Tuesday, June 13.

Two of the three rides, the “Wind Up” and “Double Play,” are brand new and come from Italy. They were manufactured for Modern Woodmen Park by SBF Visa. The carousel was purchased from Pier 39 in San Francisco and stripped down and renovated by the River Bandits. The three rides are valued at $1.4 million and were purchased by the Carousel Charitable Trust with a $1 million investment by The Bechtel Trusts.

The River Bandits have been at the forefront of affordable family entertainment in the Quad Cities since Heller took ownership of the team a decade ago. Year after year, the team has improved historic Modern Woodmen Park, three times earning Ballpark Digest’s Best Ballpark Improvement award as well as earning the title “Best Minor League Ballpark in America” from USA Today and 10Best.com. The team has a long history of charitable giving, having donated more than $1 million to the Quad Cities community over the past five years and increasing opportunities for hard-working Quad-Citizens to make lifelong memories throughout the summer.

“The River Bandits are all about helping families create lasting memories while enjoying first-rate baseball,” Heller said. “Now, thanks to the work of Mayor Klipsch and the generosity of Dick Bittner and the Bechtel Trust, we will offer even more family entertainment options for kids of all ages and, at the same time, raise money to help local children in need. That’s what we call a win-win.” …

The “Wind Up” sends eight riders on a thrilling, sometimes even upside-down, voyage as riders swing back and forth, and also spin around 360 degrees. The Wind Up will operate at two speeds: a mild ride, which swings from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, and a wild ride that takes riders on repeated 360-degree spins.

The “Double Play” sends 12 riders on a topsy-turvy journey as the ride spins around in two directions, moving forward and backward while tilting first at a 45-degree angle and, ultimately, a 90-degree angle.

The spectacular hand-painted double-decker Venetian Carousel comes to Modern Woodmen Park from San Francisco, where it thrilled millions on Pier 39. The carousel, which is the only double-decker merry-go-round in the state of Iowa, features various horses and sea creatures along with two spinning tea cups, benches, and an ADA-accessible wheelchair seat.

All three new rides are located on the new leftfield concourse and will be open during all home River Bandits games, weather permitting, as well as Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. Prices for individual rides vary and guests can purchase all-you-can-ride passes for as little as $20 (group passes start at just $15). For more information on the new and returning rides, including non-gameday hours, prices and more, visit riverbandits.com and click on “Amusements” under the Modern Woodmen Park tab. Tickets to River Bandits games are required to ride the amusements on game days.

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