NATIONAL MERRY-GO-ROUND DAY
National Merry-Go-Round Day on July 25 recognizes the joy, laughter and carnival music often associated with these fun rides.
The merry-go-round (also known as a carousel) is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. Between rows of seats, riders mount wooden horses and other animals mounted on poles. Adding interest, many of the animals move up and down to simulate galloping, and calliope music plays adding a light-hearted atmosphere.
Bringing the carousel horses to life, their names reflect their personalities. Colorful names such as Galloper, Jumper, Roundabout, Horseabout and Flying Horses became favorites among riders. In addition to horses, lions, tigers, and other exotic animals rode the merry-go-round. Besides carousels, any rotating platform may also be called a merry-go-round. On a playground, children power the merry-go-round pushing off using the bars or handles. The riders cling to the same bars as the platform spins.
- The earliest known depiction of the merry-go-round is in 500 A.D. in the Byzantine Empire, which depicts baskets, carrying riders, suspended from a central pole.
- In the 1840s, Franz Wiesenoffer created the first merry-go-round in the United States in Hessville, Ohio.
- July 25, 1871 – The first carousel patent.
HOW TO OBSERVE
To celebrate, find a merry-go-round and have fun. They are for kids of all ages! Post on social media using #MerryGoRoundDay.
In 2014, Bette Largent, President of the National Carousel Association, and carousel historian, Ronald Hopkins founded National Merry-Go-Round Day to shine a spotlight on these beautiful, historical creations that still bring joy to people of all ages. The date commemorates the first U.S. patent issued in 1871 to William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa for the modern carousel.
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