In celebration of National Carousel Day, also known as National Merry-Go-Round Day, the Hampton History Museum will offer free rides on the historic Hampton Carousel (regularly $1.00), and complimentary Hampton Carousel 100th Anniversary commemorative coins, on Sunday, July 25, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Built in 1920, the carousel is completely restored to its original beauty and housed in its own weather-protected pavilion at Carousel Park on the city’s downtown waterfront. It is one of only 170 antique wooden merry-go-rounds still existing in the U.S. Hand crafted by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for the Buckroe Beach Amusement Park, Hampton's Carousel is a whirling tribute to the skill of its creators.
After untold numbers of young and old enjoyed the carousel over its 65-year tenure, it was put in storage with the closure of Buckroe Beach Amusement Park in the mid-1980s. It was moved and restored at its current location in Carousel Park on Settlers Landing Road in Downtown Hampton in 1991. It still boasts its original mirrors and oil paintings, as well as 48 intricately decorated horses. Rising and falling to the strains of the original band organ, many of these carousel horses are so finely carved that the veins in their necks and legs are visible. Special hours are available for groups or special occasions.
While supplies last, each guest will receive a colorful commemorative coin that was specially minted to celebrate the carousel’s 100th Anniversary in 2020. Festivities had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time. The painted metal coins feature a trio of carousel horses on one side, and the seal of the City of Hampton on the reverse. The coins are presented courtesy of the Hampton Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Hampton Carousel is located at 602 Settlers Landing Rd. For more information, call the Hampton Visitor Center at 757-727-1102 or visit www.HamptonHistoryMuseum.org.