After the city spent more than $2 million to restore the carousel at John Chavis Memorial Park and move it to a new, climate-controlled building, the historic carved wooden horses are still a treasure that relatively few people see.
The 100-year-old ride open seven days a week year-round drew only 6,770 riders all of last year, according to the city. By contrast, 272,166 people rode the Pullen Park carousel during that time.
The restoration of the Chavis carousel was the first step in a long-term revitalization of the 30-acre Chavis Park that is still in the planning stages and is expected to bring more energy and visitors to the park. The public will get an update on the project at a meeting Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, the city will celebrate the 77th anniversary of Chavis Park on Saturday. The event will both look back to the busy Chavis that drew African-Americans from across the state and beyond during segregation, and forward to the new, thriving park that people hope emerges from the redevelopment project, when the carousel wont be such a solitary attraction.
Its beautiful. We absolutely love it, Gretchel Carter-Hinton said of the restored ride. But it takes more than a carousel.
Carter-Hinton, 56, ...