Memphis Grand Carousel Returns to City

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The Memphis Grand Carousel is en route to its new home at the Children’s Museum of Memphis
(CMOM), museum officials announced earlier this week.


After being shipped from Ohio on Monday, the more than 100-year-old restored carousel arrived in Memphis Thursday and will begin being unloaded on Friday.


The carousel will be housed in CMOM’s newly-constructed Memphis Grand Carousel Pavilion and Ballroom, the museum's latest near $5 million adjacent structure. (See the museum's video at the bottom for a time lapse capturing the construction of the new space).


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Originally built in 1909, 70 years later, the Grand Carousel became one of the main attractions at Memphis’ Libertyland before the park closed in 2005 and the carousel sat unused for years.


Ahead of the park’s closing in 1980, the carousel was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


“We are proud that this particular part of Memphis’ history has been preserved and that once again, people of all ages will be able to relive old memories while creating new ones,” CMOM’s public relations and marketing manager, Ramona Johnson said.


In preparation for its return, the carousel and its 48 horses were repainted, rewired, and brought up to safety codes in a more than two-year, $1 million restoration effort.


The carousel will begin being installed on Monday, Nov. 6 and is slated to open to the public at a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 2.


Once open, non-members can pay $3 per ride, while museum members and school groups can ride for free.


Museum officials expect to see an attendance increase of about 150,000 visitors over the next year.


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