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If you’re looking for things to do in Cincinnati this weekend, round up the family and head to Kings Island July 25 for National Carousel Day, also known as National Merry-Go-Round Day.
The annual celebration marks the day William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa, was issued the first American patent for a carousel, in 1871. The mission of the day is to direct attention to the hundreds of historical carousels still in operation today and continue to bring joy to riders of all ages.
For many of Kings Island’s guests, the Grand Carousel conjures up fond childhood memories. The jumping horses and band organ music remind them of a simpler time in their life before jobs, bills, responsibilities and obligations.
Hand-crafted by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1926, the Grand Carousel is one of only 170 antique wooden carousels still operating in the U.S. It is one of 89 carousels built by the company from 1904 to 1934, and one of the last. Originally labelled No. 79, the Grand Carousel was one of the first rides brought to Kings Island for its opening in 1972.
The Grand Carousel is a survivor of a bygone era, when thrills came in a much tamer form than rides like Orion, The Beast and Banshee, and still features its original mirrors and paintings, as well as 48 decorated horses and two chariots. The outside row of horses is stationary, and there are two rows of jumpers that move up and down to the strains of the band organ.
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