National Merry-Go-Round Day Date in the current year: July 25, 2024

National Merry-Go-Round Day National Merry-Go-Round Day is celebrated on July 25 in honor of one of the world’s oldest and most popular amusement rides. It is the perfect day to go to an amusement park, a carnival, or a fair and ride a carousel to your heart’s content.

carousel or a merry-go-round is a type of a carnival ride that consists of a rotating circular platform with seats. “Classic” carousels usually have wooden horses mounted on posts as seats. They are equipped with gears that make the horses move up and down while the carousel rotates, simulating gallop. Mounts may be shaped like other animals, mythological creatures, or vehicles (for example, cars or planes).

The roots of the modern carousel can be traced back to jousting traditions in medieval Europe and the Middle East. It started as a training device that was used to prepare horse riders for combat. The word carousel derives from the Spanish carosella and Italian carosella, which means “little battle”.

The transition from practical use to entertainment happened sometime during the 17th century. It is believed that one of the first carousels with wooden horses was set up at the Place du Carrousel in Paris. It should be noted, however, that the square wasn’t named after the amusement ride; the word “carrousel” in the name refers to a type of equine military drill. The make believe ride for children was named after the drill.

By the early 18th century wooden carousels became common at fairgrounds in Europe. These early rides didn’t have platforms. The mounts hung from chains and floated in the air due to the centrifugal force of the spinning mechanism, which was operated manually by people or farm animals walking in circles.

The modern platform carousel was developed and became a popular fixture at fairs by the mid-19th century. These carousels were originally operated manually, but everything changed in 1861, when Thomas Bradshaw presented a steam-powered carousel at the Aylsham Fair in Norfolk, England. However, it was English engineer Frederick Savage whose innovations helped to popularize carousels around the world. European immigrants from England and Germany brought the carousel to the United States, where distinct carousel styles began to emerge.

National Merry-Go-Round Day has been celebrated every July 25 since 2014. It was created by carousel historian Ronald Hopkins and President of the National Carousel Association Bette Largent. They chose the date of July 25 to commemorate the first United States patent for the modern carousel that was issued on this day in 1871 to William Schneider from Davenport, Iowa.

The National Carousel Association is a non-profit organization established in 1973 to preserve the history of carousels in the United States, draw attention to the historic carousels that have been bringing joy to people of all ages for decades, and keep carousels running. National Merry-Go-Round Day is the perfect day to spend riding carousels at an amusement park or at a local fair, regardless of how old you are.

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Unofficial Holidays



National Merry-Go-Round Day, unofficial observances, observances in the United States, carousels, merry-go-rounds