More than 1,000 kids got free carousel rides at the Dragon Hollow play area in downtown Missoula Saturday.

It?s the carousel's 17th birthday, and the Dragon Hollow play area?s 11th birthday.

Starting in 1991, community volunteers put in 100,000 hours to hand-carve each wooden pony and assemble an antique carousel frame.

Every year, on the Saturday before Memorial Day, carousel rides are free.

"It felt like you're on some horses and they're trying to buck you off," said said carousel rider Eamon Kimp.

?It goes around and around, faster - mine does," said Macy Hogan, just after a carousel ride of her own.

The Missoula carousel is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day this summer.