Meridian, Mississippi's Dentzel Carousel

By Anna Beth Blevins on May 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm EST
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In operation for more than a century, Meridian's Dentzel Carousel is a beloved family-friendly attraction and National Historic Landmark. Made in 1896 by renowned carousel manufacturer the Dentzel Factory for the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, the carousel has called Meridian home since 1909.

Unlike most carousels that only feature animals of the equine persuasion, Meridian's Dentzel Carousel is a veritable zoo with lions, tigers, deer, antelopes, giraffes and horses, all ready to go for a ride. The carousel features museum-quality canvas paintings with hand-carved steeds and chariots that were lovingly restored from 1984 to 1995, and it is truly a work of art unto itself. It is the last remaining two-row stationary Dentzel menagerie in the world, but don't worry about the elements sullying this gem and stopping the fun; a protective structure houses the carousel so that it can be enjoyed rain or shine for years to come.

During the fall and spring, the carousel is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. and in the winter only on Saturdays. However, in June and July the carousel is open daily from 1 to 5 p.m. A single ride is just $0.50, and a tour is $1. At that price, kids young and old can spend all day riding around with the ponies.

Find more on outdoor activities in Meridian, MS.

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It's staggering the quality entertainment the [MSU Riley Center] has brought to Meridian. We are fortunate to experience this here without having to travel to larger markets. Instead, we benefit from tourists coming to us.

Wink Glover, longtime Meridianite