Monday, October 03, 2016

Huckleberries: Coeur d’Alene Carousel faces Sunday Rest Law – or not

SUNDAY, OCT. 2, 2016

Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

With the back-to-the-future Coeur d’Alene Carousel taking shape near Memorial Field, the question had to be asked: What are you going to do about the Idaho law that prevents people from riding merry-go-rounds on Sunday? So Huckleberries asked Cari Fraser of the Carousel Foundation about the “Sunday Rest Law.” Her response was a resounding: “Hunh?” According to several websites, Idaho has a law that prevents the hoi polloi from riding a merry-go-round on Sundays. You can Google it. Originally, the law also banned other entertainment venues, too: theaters, playhouses, dance houses, racetracks, circuses or shows, concert saloons, billiard or pool rooms, bowling alleys, variety halls. Et cetera. When Huckleberries called Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh to ask about the law, he reacted as Cari did: “Hunh?” Later, Barry found a 1910 court case that was based on the Sunday Rest Law. But he found no evidence that the law was in effect today. The silly law was no laughing matter back in the day. A violator faced a $50 fine and 10 days in jail. In the early 20th century, Idahoans knew that merry-go-rounds were entry-level entertainment for more degenerate rides, like roller coasters and Ferris wheels.

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