In recent years a stage has been set up in front of Columbia at the Gurnee park.
The first Columbia opened in the Santa Clara park in 1976 and the Gurnee Columbia opened later that year. They opened as the world's biggest carousel and continues to hold that title to this day. Each horse on the carousels was a replica of one of the world's most famous carousel horses. In front of the carousels was a large reflecting pond with historic replicas of American flags flying along the sides. Today the flags still fly. The Columbia is often associated with the Carousel Song, produced especially for the Marriott's Great America theme parks by Gene Patrick. A clip of the Carousel Song can be heard here. The Carousel Song still plays at the Gurnee park every evening when the park closes.
In 1994, Santa Clara's Columbia received some minor renovations for its appearance in the movie Beverly Hills Cop III.
In the early 2000s both carousels received touches of red and blue paint. The original paint scheme was white with gold trim, however some of the gold trim still remains.
In the 2011/2012 off-season, Carousel Columbia at California's Great America was re-painted.
The carousel is known as Carousel Columbia at California's Great America and Columbia Carousel at Six Flags Great America.