First horse installed on Memphis Grand Carousel - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

First horse installed on Memphis Grand Carousel

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A big piece of Memphis history, Libertyland’s Grand Carousel, is one step closer to its big reveal.

On Tuesday, construction crews mounted the first horse on the ride at its new home at the Children’s Museum of Memphis.

“We’re definitely in the home stretch,” said Art Davis, Chief Operating Officer, at the Children’s Museum of Memphis, “We’re just excited to have it back here.”

The 100-year-old hand-carved carousel welcomed guests to Libertyland for decades. When the park closed in 2005, it sat in storage at the Liberty Bowl.

The Children’s Museum of Memphis went to the city in 2014 with a desire to bring it back to glory, part of a $6 million capital campaign that included the carousel’s rebirth and a new event space to show it off.

Restoration crews pulled multiple layers of paint off the 48 horses to reveal intricate details that were damaged and hadn’t been seen in years. One chariot that is ADA compliant will go on the carousel to accommodate children with disabilities. The other will stay on the floor as a photo prop.

“Knowing that we’re the team that helps get it further down the road so more people can enjoy it, that’s great,” said Todd Goings, with Carousels and Carvings.

Goings is in charge of the Ohio company that brought the carousel back to life. FedEx even shipped it up to Ohio for free!

Goings said once the horses are put on, they will make adjustments and tweaks, and then it will be ready to ride.

“We have a unique opportunity to not only create new memories for children who are coming here but have people my age and people who’ve ridden the Libertyland carousel to re-live those memories,” said Davis. “You can’t do that too often.”

The grand opening is planned for Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m.

Museum officials said you won’t have to purchase a museum admission ticket or be a member to ride the carousel. You can come visit for a three dollar admission charge to the carousel only. 

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